Will there be a course in my local area?

Courses are offered in four venues in Dublin (Wicklow House, South Great George’s St., Dundrum, Tallaght and Blackrock) as well as nationwide.

Why should I complete my Special Needs Assistant Training with Progressive College?

The College has been delivering training since the 1990’s in the area of special needs and has developed an extremely good reputation as having highly trained SNA’s. This reputation has developed over the years having worked with Froebel College of Education and FETAC/QQI.

Our tutors are highly qualified teachers, who work with children with specific needs and special needs assistants. It is with this breadth of knowledge and experience they can guide you successfully through this programme.

Our tutors provide a supportive environment, being happy to guide you as you journey through the challenges this course may bring.

Extensive and comprehensive materials are provided to you at no extra cost.

Why choose Progressive College?

The College of Progressive Education School of Childcare provides quality childcare training for students wishing to pursue a career in the field of childcare and Early Years Education. Established in 1986 as The School of Practical Childcare, we were one of the first educational establishments to offer childcare courses in an era where no qualifications for working in this sector were required. With the ever changing climate in the Early Years sector and the increased need for qualified practitioners, The College of Progressive Education gives learners the opportunity to gain the necessary QQI qualification in childcare required under legislation to work in the Early Years sector. All of our tutors are highly qualified in their respective fields with many of them qualified to graduate level and beyond. They are committed individuals who go beyond merely teaching our childcare courses. They are positive and encouraging and inspire confidence and passion in their students.

Which is the right course for me?

It depends on your interests and your requirements. To discuss which course best suits your needs call one of our Education Advisors on 00353 (1) 488 4300.

Where is the course held?

The College operates their courses from a number of venues, both in Dublin and regionally around the country. Dublin venues include the City Centre, Dundrum and Blackrock.

Where do I carry out my work experience for healthcare courses?

The Level 5major award programmes require 240 hours’ work experience. Individual modules require at least 30 hours. The best places to carry out work experience are in nursing homes, hospitals and some day care centres. You must be supervised at all times by a registered nurse and you will be required to have some practical skills demonstrations assessed by a registered nurse also. For this reason unsupervised work in the home of a private individual is not permitted.

Where can I go from here with my qualification?

Learners have a number of options once they complete their awards.

Childcare Level 5 learners can go directly to the work place and work as a practitioner in an Early Years setting. They can also continue their studies by completing a Childcare or ECCE with Montessori programme at QQI Level 6.

Childcare Level 6 learners can go directly into the workforce as a leader in a room in an Early Years setting. They can also continue their studies to Level 7 and above.

Progressive College has working relationships with a number of third level institutes which accept our learners directly into year 2 of their degree programmes.

ECCE with Montessori Level 6 learners can go directly into the workforce as a Montessori Directress in an Early Years or Montessori pre-school setting.

They can also continue their studies to Level 7 and above. Progressive College has a direct relationship with St. Nicholas Montessori College, who accept our learners directly into year 2 of their degree programme.

When do I start my work experience?

You can start your work experience once you have completed the Garda vetting process and a patient manual handling course which is provided by the College.

What will I learn while completing each of these modules?

Module name: Children with Additional Needs (5N2396)

This module’s focus is to give you the skills, knowledge and competence to work effectively under direction with young children with additional needs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the history of special needs in Ireland
  • Examine the Legislation and Policy development relating to children with additional needs
  • Outline a range of special needs conditions and impairments relating to children
  • Discuss a range of roles, responsibilities and support services available to children with additional needs
  • Use a range of approaches in interactions with children with special needs
  • Apply good practice with children with additional needs
  • Plan developmentally appropriate activities mindful of the safety welfare and well-being of all children
  • Learn to take responsibility for own learning within a multidisciplinary team evaluating processes which lead to co-operation and effective communication within the team
  • Evaluate own practice to inform understanding relating to children with special needs, leading to an awareness of social, ethical and legal issues in relation to education and care.

Assessment Method

Projects 100%

Module Name: Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the skills, knowledge and competence to enable to learner to be a proficient SNA working under the direction of the teacher.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the role and responsibilities of the SNA
  • Examine the qualities and skills required to be an effective SNA
  • Examine relevant legislation in relation to disability
  • Explore the rights of children with disabilities in relation to personal autonomy, participation and decision making
  • Relate effectively and appropriately to children who present with additional needs
  • Use care routines in feeding, toileting and general hygiene
  • Maintain appropriate relationships with children, parents, primary carers, teachers and other members of the multidisciplinary team
  • Work effectively with children who present with disabilities under the direction of the classroom teacher
  • Assist children with disabilities in a range of activities enduring equality of opportunity through working in a safe and professional manner
  • Reflect on personal practice working with children, their parents/guardians and colleagues ensuring that children’s individuality is promotes and that their needs are met.

Assessment Method

Learner Record 40%

Skills Demonstrations 60%

Special Needs Assisting (6N1957)

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the skills, knowledge and competence in the theory and practice underpinning the education and care of those who present with special educational needs to enable the learner to assist in the provision of this education and care.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the provision of education for people with special educational needs with reference to current legislation.
  • Assess the various educational options available in Ireland for people with special educational needs.
  • Examine relevant theories, skills and processes relevant to curriculum implementation.
  • Explore the difference between integration and inclusion.
  • Organise learning opportunities in order to promote independence and reasonability.
  • Evaluate the importance of the multi-disciplinary team in devising an IEP.
  • Analyse skills that can be used to aid the teacher in the administration of the national curriculum.
  • Assess interventions and behaviour management techniques that may be used in the learning environment.
  • Manage meaningful activities that are suited to peoples’ needs and connect with their experiences and interests in the learning environment.
  • Identify strategies for dealing with stressors within the workplace.
  • Provide assistance in the provision of education and care of individuals that present with special educational needs.
  • Reflect on own attitudes, values, beliefs and assumptions in relation to working with and on behalf of people who present with disabilities.

Assessment Method

Project 50%

Skills Demonstrations 50%

What qualifications will I achieve?

QQI Level 5 Component Certificate in Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)

QQI Level 5 Component Certificate in Children with Additional Needs (5N2396)

QQI Level 6 Component Certificate in Special Needs Assisting (6N1957)

What qualification will I have at the end?

On successful completion of the programme you will achieve a full major award at QQI Level 5 or Level 6 depending on the programme. If you complete ECCE with Montessori L6, you will also gain a College Certificate showing that you are qualified to teach the Montessori Method of Education to children between the ages of three and six years.

What is the difference between the Healthcare Support award course and the Nursing Studies course?

The Healthcare Support award is intended for individuals who wish to work as healthcare assistants in hospitals, nursing homes, day care centres and in home care. The Nursing Studies award qualifies learners to work in these areas but also covers all the modules required for entry to nursing degree programmes in higher education institutions such as universities and institutes of technology. The College programme includes all modules required for either award and you may decide which award to opt for at the end of your course.

For further information on how to progress into Nursing click here

What is the difference between the Healthcare Support award and the Care of the Older Person course?

The Healthcare Support/Nursing Studies award consists of 8 QQI modules. It is the full qualification required to work as a care assistant in nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare settings.

The Care of the Older Person course is a single QQI Level 5 module. It is a very good introduction to working as a care assistant but most care centres will require learners to complete the full award at a later stage.

What is the difference between Part-Time and Blended Learning?

Part-Time Childcare and Montessori courses are delivered two evenings a week. Some courses also require attendance at Saturday seminar sessions. These sessions are usually set aside for assessment purposes.

Blended Learning courses allow the student to work from the comfort of their own home, with the support of a tutor both online by email and by telephone, one evening a week during specific contact hours. Attendance is required at a number of Saturday seminar sessions over the duration of the course. These sessions are for demonstrations, lectures or assessment purposes.

What is the current requirement in order to become an SNA?

The Department of Education and Skills current requirement is that an SNA when being employed within the school must have a minimum of 3 passes in their junior certificate or equivalent.

The Schools are looking for SNA’s to have a knowledge of different special needs and have some experience in working with children with differing needs.

What is a QQI qualification

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is the national awarding body for further education and training in Ireland. QQI awards fit into the overall National Framework of Qualifications for Ireland. There are 10 levels on the national framework 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
QQI offers programmes at levels 1-6 and third level colleges and universities normally offer programmes at levels 7 to 10.

What if I have difficulties on the course?

There are a number of supports in place.  First port of call is the tutor. Failing that the learner can contact the academic team in the college.

What does Part Time programme mean?

On our part time course you will attend the class once a week from 7-9.30pm.

You will attend class for 18 weeks and 3 Saturday Seminars if doing the Level 5 Component Certificates.

You will attend class for 22 weeks and 5 Saturday Seminars if doing the combined Level 5 and 6 course.

What does Distance Learning programme mean?

The level 5 programme runs over 5 months.

The combined level 5 and 6 programmes run over 10 months.

When studying through Distance Learning all the materials, assignment guidelines and detailed course notes are sent directly to you. You will have a tutor appointed to you to guide you through the course. The tutor will be available by phone during specific time and also via email. You will have academic support in our head office. You will also attend for a number of Saturday Seminars over the duration of the course.

What Childcare and Montessori courses do you deliver?
If I study the Level 5 Nursing Studies award how can I progress to a nursing degree?

Universities and institutes of technology offering nursing degree programmes set aside a quota of places for QQI applicants each year. The number of places available in each college can be seen on the CAO (Central Applications Office) website. Students can apply for nursing programmes through the CAO. Applications must be in by 1st February each year.

For further information on how to progress into Nursing click here

If I am caring for a family member do I need to do work experience as well?

Yes you must do work experience in a suitable healthcare setting so that you can be mentored by qualified staff and so that some of your practical assessments can be marked by a registered nurse.

How will I be assessed during the course?

There are no written exams required for these specific modules. Assessments are completed on a continuous method with work based projects, assignments, learner records and skills demonstrations.

How often do the courses run?

Depends on the course.  The short courses will run a number of times over the year, usually Autumn, Spring and Summer.  The longer courses will be offered twice a year, Autumn and Spring.

How much work experience is required?

Learners are required to complete 110 hours of work place experience, regardless of which programme they study. ECCE with Montessori learners must complete their work experience in a Montessori environment. This work experience can be structured to fit in with the learners life. The College believes that it is important for the learner to source their own work placements. This is a valuable skill which will be beneficial when the learner begins to seek employment. Most learners like to complete their work placement close to where they live.

How much do the Childcare and Montessori courses cost?

Childcare L5 Part-Time – €1,750

Childcare L5 Online – €875

Childcare L6 Part-Time – €1,750

Childcare L6 Online – €875

ECCE with Montessori P/T – €1,999

ECCE with Montessori Blended – €999

How many hours work placement do I need to complete?

While you are doing the QQI Level 5 component certificates you will need to complete 30 hours work placement.

While you are doing the QQI Level 6 component certificates you will need to complete 30 hours work placement.

For those completing the combined level 5 and 6 parts of the course you will need to complete a total of 60 hours work placement.

How long is the course?

Please contact us for course duration’s as this varies depending on the delivering of the course and the level of the award.

How does Online Learning Work?

The online learning programmes are delivered over a two year period (approximately one module every three months).  You will be assigned a password which will allow you to access your course materials, briefs, quizzes etc through our moodle website.  You will also be assigned a tutor who will be available to you via email. The tutor is also available for two hours,  one evening a week by telephone.  In addition, you will need to attend a number of Saturday Seminars (lectures).

How do I get my results to the CAO if I am applying for a higher education programme?

QQI sends results of all learners who have achieved QQI awards to the CAO in July each year in time for offers of places in higher education in August. Further information can be found here.

How do I apply?

You can apply in a number of ways. 1) You can fill in an application form online and pay your deposit through PayPal or by credit card over the phone. 2) You can request an application form which will be posted out to you which you return with your deposit/full fee.

How do I apply?

You can apply for our Healthcare Courses in a number of ways. 1) You can fill in an application form online and pay your deposit through PayPal or by credit card over the phone. 2) You can request an application form which will be posted out to you which you return with your deposit/full fee.

How can I learn More?

Please contact the college for further information either by email on info@progressivecollege.com, via our online contact form or call 00353 (0)1 488 4300 and one of our Education Advisors would be delighted to help.

How can I complete the SNA course?

You can complete the course through two methods- Part Time and Distance Learning.

How am I assessed?

Each of the component modules will have their own assessment criteria. These range from portfolio work, written assignments, skills demonstrations and written exams. All assessments must be passed in order to gain the Major Award Qualification.

Entry Requirements

Learners should have studied to Leaving Certificate or equivalent and have a good understanding of written and spoken English. Mature students and students with relevant work/life experience are also welcome to apply.

Does the College charge additional fees for exams and course materials?

No. The course fee quoted on our website is the total fee for your course. There will be no additional costs for exams, course materials or for any other reason. 

Do you offer childcare courses and Montessori courses online?
Do I receive the same certification if I do the course through Part Time or Distance Learning?

Yes. All learners are working towards the same certification with the same assessment processes to go through.

Do I have to get this myself?
Do I find my own work placement?

It is best if learners arrange their own work placement so that it is conveniently located for them. The College will provide you with a list of suitable nursing homes or hospitals. We will also provide you with a letter of introduction to the work placement confirming you are attending the course, your start and finish dates and the modules you will be covering. We will also provide you with an insurance letter and confirm that Garda vetting has been applied for on your behalf.

Can I pay in instalments?

Places on all programmes can be reserved with a deposit of €99 and the balance of the fees paid by direct debit.

Can I pay for this course by instalments?

Yes. You will pay a deposit prior to the course starting and then you can pay through instalments the length of the instalments is dependent on the length of the course you are participating in.

Are Patient Manual Handling and Occupational First Aid included in the course fee?

Both Patient Manual Handling and Occupational First Aid are included in the course fee for QQI Level 5 major award programmes. There is no additional charge. They are not included in the Care of the Older Person single module course.

Am I insured while on work placement?

Yes you are covered under the College’s insurance while completing your specified hours of work placement.