Level 5 Higher Certificate: Early Childhood Development

The Higher Certificate is designed to provide access to higher education for many experienced and skilled Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and trainers who do not have recognised qualifications.

The purpose of this qualification is to:

1.) Develop ECD practitioners (e.g. home-based, centre- and school-based practitioners including Grade R, family and community ECD motivators, fieldworkers, facilitators, trainers and managers) to provide appropriate education, training and development services in the ECD sub-field.

2.) Enable ECD practitioners to use their knowledge of child growth and development from birth to six years and relevant national policies to guide their professional practice in the ECD sub-field.

This qualification provides an opportunity for practitioners with a Level 4 Certificate in ECD or an equivalent to further their professional development and to specialise in aspects of ECD practice.

Table of Contents

Career Options

What will I be qualified as once I’ve completed this course?

  • Early Childhood Development (ECD) Practitioner
  • Reception Year Practitioner
  • Trainer at private companies (ECD)

What will I be able to do?

  • Manage an Early Childhood Development site
  • Mentor Levels 1 and 4 in-service practical training
  • Training Level 1 students for a non-governmental training provider
  • Teach a Grade R class
  • Manage and be an educator to a play group
  • Take care of children as an Au Pair
  • Educate children at an Early Childhood Development site

In which industries will I be able to work?

  • Early Childhood Development/Day Care Centres
  • Play groups
  • Private sector
  • Schools that offer Grade R education
  • ECD community
  • ECD sites

What could I do to further improve my skills and my chances of furthering my career?

You can continue your studies in Education at a TVET College, or study towards a specific teaching qualification at an institution of Higher Education, such as a University if you meet their entry requirements.

Programme Structure

What will I be studying during this course?

Fundamental Unit Standards

  • Present information in a public setting

Core Subjects Unit Standards

  • Mediate active learning in ECD programmes
  • Promote healthy development in ECD programmes
  • Develop and manage the ECD learning programme

Elective Subjects

  • Facilitate a life skills learning programme in the reception year
  • Facilitate a literacy learning programme in the reception year
  • Facilitate a numeracy learning programme in the reception year

Admission Requirements

What do I need to have completed before I can apply to study this course?

  • Grade 12, or equivalent qualification, or
  • Level 4 National Certificate in ECD, or
  • Level 4 TVET National Certificate: ECD
  • Level 4 National Certificate (Vocational)

Note: Admission for the Level 5 Higher Certificate is subject to the successful completion of a PACE Assessment in numeracy and literacy.  ECD experience will also be taken into account.


  • 18 months full-time
  • Enrolment in January and July

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One comment

  1. Min Mvula Ka Mnisi

    I would like to be RPL in ECD Programme especially Level 4 and 5.
    I have an hon Degree in Social Work, National Diploma in Human Resources Management and Practice , a FACILITATOR, ASSESSOR, MODERATOR OF ETDP AND HWSEATAs. and other qualifications.

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