Child’s Play: Choose a rewarding career with a childcare course

By Laura Molloy - Last update

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Childcare courses are ideal for anyone who wants a fun and lively career with plenty of opportunities in Ireland. As the economy grows and the State provides more funding for the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme, demand for early childhood carers and educators is on the rise. Furthermore, according to the CSO (2016) the most commonly used non-parental childcare type for pre-school children is a childcare facility. In addition, there are over half a million children in Ireland under six accessing some form of early childhood education. Find out more about this exciting area by enrolling on a childcare course.

Courses in childcare

A number of colleges in Ireland offer childcare courses at FETAC Level 5 and 6, Post leaving certificates (PLC), diploma’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Completing a childcare course part-time allows for the student to work while studying, with some classes available to take online through distance and blended learning. Courses are mainly offered on a part-time basis. These include;

  • Professional Childcare Supervisor
  • Early Childhood Care & Education and Early Childhood
  • Education and Play/Child-minding Practice.

Is a career in childcare right for you?

If you would consider yourself a person who has a high level of patience with a lot of compassion and understanding for children then a course in childcare may be right for you. Childcare workers are naturally enthusiastic and self-motivated people who enjoy crafts, being creative and getting messy. This pathway isn’t for everyone because caring for and educating young children can be demanding however it can also be highly rewarding.

What will you learn in a childcare course?

Courses prepare graduates to work with babies and young children 0-6 years of age, in a range of different childcare environments. Studies cover the holistic development of the child, which includes namely the physical, emotional, social, moral, cognitive, linguistic and creative development. Students explore key theories of child development as well as discuss issues of methodology and ethics in childhood research.

Students will also learn the practicalities of dealing with young children in a busy and active environment. All students must complete first aid and child protection training, as well as manual handling.

A key component of the course is work experience. Students are expected to work with young children under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.  All students are supported during their placements with dedicated tutors, who are available to ask advice and discuss progressions with.

Key skills

Students develop key communication skills which enable them to develop relationships with the children in their care and their parents. Also, graduates will learn how to deal with situations that are overwhelming and stressful in a calm and composed manner.

Career Prospects

From January 2017, as stated in the Child Care Act (Early Years Services) Regulations, all staff working directly with children must hold a minimum of QQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education. Most graduates on childcare courses will work as childcare assistants, who are responsible for all aspects of daily care for young children. In addition, other career paths include child-minders, Montessori teachers, crèche room supervisors, managers, coordinators and lecturers.

Furthermore, some graduates may progress on to supervisory or management roles within a childcare facility. Others may want to start their own crèche or nursery.

Find childcare courses near you in’s national courses database.

Laura Molloy

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