FETAC: New Common Awards Standards in Early Childhood Care and Education at Levels 4, 5 and 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NQF)
From Dec 2012 the old FETAC awards in Childcare will be replaced by the new FETAC awards under the Common Awards Standards (CAS).
The new awards under CAS are titled “Early Childhood Care and Education” (ECCE) whereas the old FETAC awards are titled “Childcare”. The new codes for Early Childhood Care and Education are as follows: Level 4: 4M2014, Level 5: 5M2009 and Level 6: 6M2007. FETAC level 3 modules in Childcare will no longer be offered (they were deactivated in Dec 2011). The old awards will not be offered beyond December 2012 but components achieved under the old awards can still be counted towards the new awards until 2014 after which they become obsolete.
At the moment FETAC 5 and/or 6 modules are delivered in Waterford City by VEC (WCFE, VTOS and BTEI), FAS and some Private Organisations.
Information about the new awards can be sourced from the training provider (eg VEC, FAS etc) or by checking the FETAC website or by contacting the Waterford City Childcare Committee.
Prospective students should be aware of the currency of courses being offered under the old award system. Up to Dec 2014 it is possible to carry forward minor (component) awards as exemptions towards new common major and special purpose awards where appropriate. From January 2015 only component awards developed in line with the Common Awards Standards will be accepted towards a major award in ECCE.
Training and educational programmes inIreland are divided into two types, i.e. accredited and non-accredited. Accredited programmes are those that are recognised by the state as being part of the formal educational process. The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland has been charged with the creation of a National Qualification Framework, including a framework for the childcare sector.
There are a vast range of childcare courses available throughout the country. The two principle accrediting bodies for childcare awards are the Higher Educational and Training Awards Council (HETAC) and the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC).
The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) is the qualifications awarding body for third-level educational and training institutions outside the university sector. For further details on HETAC go to www.hetac.ie
The Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) is the statutory awarding body for further education and training in Ireland. It gives people the opportunity to gain recognition for learning in education or training centres, in the work place and in the community. For further details on FETAC go to www.fetac.ie
Recognition of international awards
If an individual has completed an award in early childhood care and education that has been accredited by an international awarding body then a procedure has been established by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) whereby they can seek to establish if it’s recognised as being equivalent to an award on the National Framework of Qualifications. For further details go to www.nqai.ie