BA (Honors) in Early Childhood Care and Education

Key Points

  • Work permit while you study

  • Post Graduation Work Permit for 12 months

  • Start dates: September

  • Duration: 4 years
  • Level 8 qualification

  • Type: Full Time
  • Hours: Daytime
  • Enrollment Fee: From € 10,000 / year

Write to us for more information

This comprehensive honors degree program in Early Childhood Education and Care is a four-year award. It is designed for individuals interested in seeking opportunities in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. This is a sector that is experiencing growing demand, as research shows us the vital importance of early childhood education in the formation of children and our society.

During the course, you will cover a wide range of topics to gain an in-depth understanding of infants and children from birth to six years of age. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work with children and their families during their crucial early childhood years.

The aim of the degree is to provide you with a solid foundation in early childhood education and care, to practice in a variety of professional settings. It will provide you with a comprehensive foundation in the principles and pillars of professional practice, a strong theoretical framework, and exposure to practical experience through professional placements during your four years of study.

The course incorporates key topics that include whole child learning / development; Health, Nutrition and Wellbeing; Legislation and Essential Regulatory Practices; Music, Movement, Art and Drama; Creativity and play; ECEC methods and approaches; Work in multiprofessional environments; Parental and family involvement; as well as aspects of leadership, management and governance in the sector. Students are encouraged to critically think, reflect, inquire, and investigate a variety of theoretical and practical pedagogical approaches to early childhood learning and development.

NCI has a long tradition of working with educators, and this exciting program will equip you to achieve your ambitions at ECEC.

Program structure

Semester 1:

  • Academic Foundations and Scholarships
  • Foundations of early childhood education and care
  • Learning and integral development of the child
  • Music, Movement, Art and Drama

Semester 2:

  • Children’s health, nutrition and well-being
  • Essential Legislation and Regulation in ECEC

Semester 1:

  • Fundamental pedagogies and curriculum in ECEC
  • Dispositions and dynamics of behavior in children
  • Manage your learning and academic practice
  • Placement: observation and reflection in the practice of ECEC

Semester 2:

  • Diversity and pluralism in language learning and literacies
  • Play and creativity at ECEC

Semester 1:

  • Early learning in a digital world
  • Inquiry Learning: Curriculum Design and Evaluation at ECEC
  • Placement: Application of strategies in learning environments in ECEC practice
  • Quality assurance in ECEC environments

Semester 2:

  • Leadership and governance in ECEC environments
  • The children’s family and society: stakeholders in ECEC

Semester 1:

  • Research and Research Methods of ECEC
  • Personal and professional identity
  • Social, political and cultural contexts of ECEC
  • Working in multiprofessional contexts

Semester 2:

  • Capstone ECEC project based on practice

An essential and enormously beneficial element of the program is the strong emphasis placed on supervised professional practice in various areas of early childhood, included in the course from the first year. During the four years of the program, more than 1,000 hours are specially allocated to supervised placement-related activities. Among other skills, such as observations and ethical practice, placement includes planning and developing a curriculum for young children. The senior year provides an opportunity for students to combine their experiences and skills in a final project.

Career opportunities

Upon completion, you will possess the skills to work as a room leader or supervisor, working directly with children, as a professional or environment-based administrator, in mentoring, mentoring, training, and leadership roles.

Government strategies have established a vision for a graduate-led workforce at ECEC and the ECCE Scheme (Free Preschool Years) also offers a higher capitation fee to providers where all leaders are qualified. These changes highlight the opportunities for graduates of this program.

Garda Vetting

All applicants must be screened by the Garda as part of the admission process.

Admission requirements

The minimum requirements for entry to the program are H5 in two subjects and O6 / H7 in four subjects on the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, which must include English and mathematics. Applicants who successfully complete a QQI Major award at level 5 can apply through the CAO’s Higher Education and Links Scheme (HELS).

Students with a major award in Early Learning and Care / Early Childhood Education and Care at NFQ level 6 will be eligible for advanced entry to the second year of the program, subject to certain criteria.

The minimum entry requirement for this program is a Level 5 qualification in any discipline, including three distinctions, ideally with professional involvement in the delivery of learning in early childhood education and care.

Please note that exams can be scheduled in the morning, afternoon, or evening from Monday to Saturday.

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