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Special Needs Assistant/Classroom Assistant

Course Description

This one year full time course is designed to facilitate students who wish to work as classroom assistants/special needs assistants or who wish to pursue employment in childcare.  It will include an introduction to working with children who have special educational needs, studying the categories of special needs, exploring the role of teamwork and managing challenging behaviour.  

Course Duration

One Year

Course Content

Year 1

  • Child Development
  • Child Health and Well Being
  • Children with Additional Needs
  • Communications 
  • Early Care and Education Practice
  • Early Childhood Education and Play
  • Special Needs Assisting
  • Work Experience

Awarding Body

QQI - Quality and Qualifications Ireland

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements for On-Line Applicants:

  • Leaving Certificate, LCVP, LCA or a level 4 certificate
  • or have reached the age of 18. 
  • Mature student

If the criteria above does not apply, you may be called for an information interview to secure a place on the programme. 

Work Experience

Work experience forms an integral part of this KCFE programme.  Students participate in quality placements allowing a valuable opportunity to gain hands on experience in industry.  Links made with employers during work experience often result in employment.

Career Opportunities

On successful completion employment may be gained in Primary schools, Post-Primary schools and Third Level Colleges working as a Special Needs Assistant, Classroom Assistant or Personal Assistant. 

Also students can expect to gain employment in a wide range of ECCE settings including: childminder, crèche assistant, nursery assistant, playschool, pre-schools, montessori schools, after school services, day care centres, private homes.

Progression to Further Education and Higher Education 
Graduates may opt to continue their studies in third level in IOTs and Universities.


Course Fees

All students are required to pay the €10 application fee and €150 registration fee. Both of these fees are non-refundable. Students are also required to pay the €200 Government Levy (exemptions with valid medical card or evidence that you qualify for Maintenance Grant/Back to Education Allowance). Additional course specific fees will apply. Details of course specific fees are available on request from college office or when you apply online.


  • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education (5M2009)


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