NCI Blog

Early Childhood Education & Care: A Rewarding Profession

Posted by Teresa Murray on 19 May 2021

Studying Early Childhood Education

2021 sees National College of Ireland extending its long-established and highly reputed BA (Honours) in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), currently delivered as an evening course, to also offer the programme through daytime delivery to CAO applicants.

This fully accredited, 4-year, full-time, honours degree is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills for practice in the Early Learning sector in Ireland, therefore is a professional as well as an academic qualification. Students will complete over 1,000 hours of professional work placements while completing their studies.

Opening up many pathways for career development in this growing profession - whether in a Naíonraí or a special needs’ environment, as a childminder or home visitor, or in early years’ intervention programmes - this level 8 qualification on the NFQ can also be the foundation of an academic career.

Watch: Our webinar introducing the BA (Hons) in ECEC

HubSpot Video

The BA (Hons) in ECEC will qualify you for your first job in the industry. As you gain experience and become curious about specific aspects of early childhood education and care, your level 8 qualification will allow you to return to your studies, whether that is to pursue postgraduate course such as our MA in Educational Practice, or to undertake specific research into aspects of childhood development: you have the undergraduate degree necessary to continue to advance.

For some educators, the journey goes full circle, as they use further qualifications to become lecturers – teaching the next generation of Early Childhood Education and Care professionals.

Minimum entry requirements for the programme are H5 in two subjects, and O6/H7 in four subjects in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, which must include English and Mathematics. Covered by the Free Fees Initiative and SUSI grant schemes, CAO students can list this programme on their Change of Mind Application as NC030. NCI also welcomes applications from students who are presenting QQI (formerly FET/FETAC) Level 5 and Level 6 awards, with minimum requirements of three distinctions and a full award.

The CAO Change of Mind facility is available open until 1st July 2021. This means that you can update your preferences to include the BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care (course code NC030) as your first choice to join this programme at NCI in September. If you have any questions, get in touch with our School Liaison Officer, Karen Campbell, and she will be delighted to help.

Topics: CAO, Undergraduate, Full-Time Courses, Early Childhood Education, Learning and Teaching