Certificate in Childhood Practice

Level 6
1 Year
Start Date


Are you looking to develop a career in the area of Childcare? If so, why not consider the Certificate in Childhood Practice – one of the most relevant, contemporary and advanced Childcare programmes in Ireland. It also meets government guidelines for the sector and is approved by the Department of Social and Community affairs for ECCE funding.

Students on this programme will study key elements of childhood care and practice including developmental psychology, ethical issues and dedicated modules on theoretical and practical elements of childhood care and practice. This is combined with 100 hours of supervised practice, giving students the opportunity to apply their knowledge practically.



This programme will equip graduates with the skills, knowledge and approach necessary to work as professional practitioners. A key emphasis of the programme is that it is designed to fit in with your busy working life. It supports a variety of study options, including blended learning, which combines face-to-face classroom time with elements of online learning. This helps students to better manage their workload and balance study with personal and professional obligations.

Can I study this programme on a full or part-time basis?

Students considering doing the Certificate in Childhood Practice can take this course on either a full-time or part-time basis. The course will commence in September 2016. The course is delivered over one year, with two twelve week terms running from September to December and January to April.

The programme is run through a combination of classroom based modules as well as some that are ‘blended’. Blended learning combines face to face and web based teaching.

Full-time option:

The full-time programme runs 3 days per week at the ICHAS College Limerick from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Part-time option:

The part-time fees programme runs 1 evening per week from 6.00pm to 10.00pm. You will also be required to attend some Saturdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm


A central tenet of ICHAS is the provision of flexible and affordable education for all. In line with this approach, the fees for the programme whether full or part time are in line with those of Universities and Institutes of Technology. The fees for the Certificate in Childhood Practice are €3,450 p/a and students can pay in instalments. Academic Administration fees are charged separately and are €300 p/a.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded

Structure of Course

The Certificate in Childhood Practice covers a range of subjects which when taken together provide a syllabus at foundation level which is designed to develop competent childcare workers. The subjects covered are designed to be both practical and theoretical, leading to a broad range of knowledge, skills and competencies, as evidenced below:

Certificate in Childhood Practice – 1 Year (QQI)
Ethics & Practice
Childhood Care and Practice 1
Childhood Care and Practice 2
Developmental Psychology
Legal Issues in Childhood and Adolescent Care


Supervised Professional Practice


How will I be assessed?

For many this is a really important question. Many people are fearful of assessment, particularly when it comes to examinations. ICHAS doesn’t just rely on examinations, but uses a range of assessment approaches including continuous assessment of project work, practical exercises and skills demonstrations.

ICHAS has always, and will continue to work closely with students to employ a range of assessment activities, and support students to achieve their best in each type of assessment activity. We recognise that many students may not have studied in a long time and we have developed systems and individual approaches to support students as they adapt to higher education.

What supports will I have?

ICHAS is a College with a proven track record of delivering high quality education. At ICHAS, every lecturer and member of staff is committed to the ideal of quality education and student satisfaction. We provide feedback which is inclusive of both formative and summative feedback to each individual learner.

If you are a CAO student or returning to third level study as a mature student we understand you may have concerns about going or returning to college and all that’s involved in that. However, at ICHAS we have a long tradition of working with similar students. Your educational journey is extremely important to us and we will support you in every way.

Who Awards My Qualification and how well recognised is it?

The course is validated by Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI). QQI is an Irish awarding body and set standards for awards they make on the NFQ. QQI have overall responsibility for the quality of 3rd level academic programmes in Ireland. See www.qqi.ie for further information. This programme is recognised for ECCE funding.

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

Upon successful completion of the Certificate in Childhood Practice students will be eligible to progress to the B.A (Hons) in Childhood and Adolescent Care and Practice.

What are the entry requirements for this course?

To join the Certificate in Childhood Practice, applicants must meet the following requirements;

  • You must be over 18 years of age.
  • You must complete and submit the completed application form <download here>and provide any requested information.
  • You must complete an interview process, which is designed to explore your reasons for taking the programme and to ensure that it is suitable for your needs. ICHAS is committed to ensuring that the programme you are on is right for you.
  • You must complete the Garda vetting procedure
  • English language proficiency certificates (e.g. IELTS of 6.0 or equivalent) if applicable. Please see http://ichas.ie/prospective-students/international-applicants/

If you are under 23 years of age and applying for the fulltime programme you must apply through the CAO.  Normally this requires applicants to have successfully completed the Leaving Certificate programme and to have obtained a minimum of 250 points.  A minimum grade of D1 in English is stipulated. 


If you require further information in regard to applying for this course then please contact the college on 061 216288 or info@ichas.iewhere we will be only too pleased to assist you.

Employment potential for participants who successfully complete this 1 year programme can be viewed across the complete spectrum of occupations within the child and adolescent care sectors. A range of established as well as new professions are engaged in the provision of professional childcare to children and adolescents, including schools, crèches, statutory organisations,non-governmental agencies and the social work sector, among others.

Specific areas of employment may include:

  • Working in childcare facilities
  • Working in Community groups and Partnerships
  • Working in childcare provision across Leader funded programmes and groups
  • Working in the spectrum of Department of Justice funded youth and adolescent programmes
  • Working with the Department of Education funded youth and adolescent programmes e.g. Youthreach, Community Training Workshops
  • Working in range of non-governmental agencies in the areas of youth and adolescents e.g. Barnardos
  • Working within HSE funded residential, non- residential and outreach programmes.

The Certificate in Childhood Practice  has many features that make it one of the leading programmes of this type in Ireland, these include;

  • This programme is part of a suite of programmes that have been recently revalidated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), ensuring up to date teaching methods, programme content and quality.
  • It is delivered by lecturers who work in this field, who are passionate about your education and dedicated to sharing their experience and expertise.
  • The programme is recognised throughout Europe. On completion you will receive the Europass Diploma Supplement in addition to your degree parchment.
  • It is part of the affordable and flexible access system within ICHAS, meaning students pay the same fees as public college system.
  • It mixes theory and practice together to provide a complete understanding of the areas.
  • It is recognised widely by employers, opening opportunities to graduates in a range of different areas.
  • It uses combines face to face and online learning, allowing you to balance your work/life/study with personal and professional commitments.
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M.A. Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy – Graduate 2011

Joining ICHAS at diploma level, my aspiration was to discover what counselling was about. After the diploma and through the Level 8 and Level 9 programmes, it became more about discovering who I was and then becoming a reflective counsellor. Understanding my self was most important if I was to help others with their journey. An additional benefit from this course was meeting so many different people from different backgrounds and with different views which taught me more about working with people, as a client or otherwise.

The college, course, staff and peers enabled this journey for me, where I have become a more holistic person. Now that I have ended up with a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy through the various challenges along the way is a great achievement for me.


Sinead MCGuinness
(Graduate of the MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; BA (Hons) in Counselling and PsychotherapyBA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I began my voyage with ICHAS in Studying for the BA degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy studies was the beginning of my voyage with ICHAS. I never imaged what an amazing voyage this would be and all the amazing people I would meet along my way.  I am still on my voyage and still meeting amazing people and still learning every day. My studies with ICHAS went further than I could ever have believed with finding myself growing both on a personal and professional level. The college at all times (more…)


Patrick Fitzgerald
(BA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I came into ICHAS knowing that I wanted to help and work with people. Currently in my third year and all I can say is that I am amazed by how much I have grown both as a person and as a student. I was out of education for two years before starting and had fears and reservations about my ability as an academic and still not fully sure what I wanted to do with my life. The environment here compared to University’s or Institutes is not focused on just delivering the content and getting you through your degree or masters. Here they are looking at the individual behind the books and making sure that each student receives the same quality engagement that I have not seen anywhere else. ICHAS has allowed me over the last three years to see my true potential and ability through the stimulating learning environment here. I recommend this college to anyone looking into the areas of Counselling and Psychotherapy due to the high level of engagement with peers and lecturers.

Phone: 061 216 288
Walton House, Lonsdale Rd., National Technology Park,
Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland