Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Keith Hayes from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Keith Hayes

Ambulance / Paramedic

Health Service Executive

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Keith Hayes
At a minimum get your Leaving Cert, that’s required anyway. But don’t sell yourself short aim for a third level college qualification, something like a science degree. It may not have obvious benefits now but the career is changing direction so fast it could stand to you big time.

Take your time in applying I joined the service when I was 25 yrs old and looking back I think around that age is the right time. When you consider some of the calls we attend and things we may need to deal with, joining at 17 or 18 after the Leaving Cert with little or no life experiences may turn you off because it is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.
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Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Early Childhood Care & Education - Special Needs Assistant - Advanced Cert

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Course overview

Course Code 6M2007 ECS4
QQI Award Code 6M2007 Early Childhood Care and Education
Award National Framework of Qualifications level

Course Description

This Advanced Certificate course gives learners all the practical skills and underpinning knowledge required for a career as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA). The course covers different settings to which a Special Needs Assistant maybe be appointed including: an early years setting, special school or mainstream school. It also meets the educational requirements for the ECCE Scheme. Many childcare settings are now seeking Level 6 qualifications for their employees in line with this scheme. If you already have a childcare qualification or are currently working in the childcare field, this course will enhance your knowledge and skills in the area of Special Needs Assisting. Included in the award is the option of participating in a programme of coaching adapted physical activity to people with disabilities. Work experience within variety of educational setting forms an integral part of the course.

What will you Study?

This Advanced Certificate course gives early childhood care workers all practical skills and underpinning knowledge required for a career as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA). The course covers different settings to which a Special Needs Assistant maybe appointed including: and early years setting, special school or mainstream school.

Child Development 6N1942

Early Childhood Curriculum 6N1944

Early Childhood Literacy & Numeracy 6N1935

Special Needs Assisting 6N1957

Team Leadership 6N1948

Work Experience 6N1946

Creative Studies for Special Needs 6N1972

Childhood Social Legal & Health Studies 6N1945
Important Colleges may add/remove modules to keep the course updated and to meet demands. Almost all PLC courses have a Work Experience module, which requires students to find their own placement in an area directly related to their course.

Progression to CAO Courses

Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS)

This course leads to a QQI Major Award, and provides progression opportunities to a number of Higher Education courses, including those in the CAO.

To view CAO courses to which any Major Award (including this one) provides a possible Progression route, click below:

CAO with Any QQI Major Award

To view additional CAO courses which this specific course may lead to, click on one of the Award Codes below:

Old FETAC Code New QQI Code
DCXXX 6M2007

To calculate Points based on your QQI award results, use the PLC Points Calculator.

Further Research

hidden College Website Course Page

Colleges often have information about the course on their own website, along with other useful information relating to the college. (Note: Not always available)

hidden Qualifax Course Page

Qualifax is the National Learners Database. (Note: Link not always available)

Disclaimer: These links are to web sites outside of CareersPortal and we accept no responsibility for the information on them.


Other courses you may be interested in...

The following courses are related to the course above and are from colleges in the same region. These might be worth exploring further. You can sort the list by Title or College by clicking on the column headings.
Course Title College
Social Studies & Psychology- Applied Monaghan Institute 
Health Service Skills Monaghan Institute 
Community & Social Care Monaghan Institute 
Applied Social Studies & Psychology Monaghan Institute 

Sample Careers

If you are interested in this course, then some of these occupations may be of interest. These suggestions are related by Career Sector and Career Interests, and may be worth exploring.
Charity Officer   Equality Officer  
Community Welfare Officer   Educational Psychologist  
Information Officer - Adult Guidance    Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary  
Childcare worker   Art Therapist  
Special Needs Assistant - SNA   Teacher - Primary / Gael School  
Teacher - Nursery/Playgroup    Funeral Director  
Naturopath   Aromatherapist  
Health Educator / Promotion Officer   Speech & Language Therapist  
Acupuncturist   Psychiatric / Mental Health Care Nurse  
Nurses Aid / Healthcare Assistant   Vision Rehabilitation Therapist  
General Nurse (RGN)   Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician  
Intellectual Disability Nurse    Sport Psychologist  
Probation Officer   Clinical Psychologist  
Ambulance Assistant / Intermediate Care Operative   Community Resource Worker - Visual Impairment  
Home Help Assistant   Home Help Organiser  
Music Therapist   Social Care Worker / Practitioner  
Care Assistant - Children   Nursery Nurse  
Aid Worker - Humanitarian   Counsellor  
Occupational Therapist   Clergy / Religious Ministers  
Social Worker   Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education  
Community Development Worker / Officer   Careers Adviser  
Constituency Worker   Psychotherapist  
Community Education Officer   Care Worker  

Related Career Sectors

This course prepares people for careers typically found in the sectors below. You can explore information relating to these sectors by clicking on the titles below.
Social & Caring
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National Statistics for this Award (All Ireland)

The following data provides general information about this Award from colleges across Ireland.