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Early Childhood Care & Education

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education (Work Based)

Course code: BN030_WB Entry Route into programme:
  • Leaving Certificate
  • FETAC graduates
  • Mature Applicants
Duration: 3 years
NFQ level: 7
Fee : TBC
Schedule:  TBC                                             Year 1: Monday and Wednesday
6pm-10pm and
1 Saturday per month
Year 2: Monday 6pm-10pm and
1 Saturday per month
Year 3: Wednesday 6pm-10pm
and 1 Saturday per month
Award title: Bachelor of Arts
Credits for Full Award: 180 @ NFQ Level 7
Awarding Body: ITB  

Note: This course will be offered in 2018 and will open for applications later in March 2018.

Minimum Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a pass in five subjects (ordinary level) in the Leaving Certificate, to include Mathematics and English or Irish, or an equivalent qualification. Leaving Certificate Mathematics at Foundation Level at grade B2 or higher is acceptable for this programme. A grade E in Leaving Certificate Mathematics at Higher Level counts as a subject towards the five passes.
The minimum entry requirements for graduates of FETAC level 5 or 6 awards is any full award.

Mature applicants (i.e. those who are aged 23 years or more on January 1st in the year of entry) applying for the first level of programmes are exempt from this

Applicants applying for this course must have been in full-time employment in a
recognised child care setting for more than two years. Applicants must remain
in full-time employment throughout their course of study.
Please note that the number of places is limited and participants will be shortlisted
based on the written statement provided by their employer.

Statement from the Employer

Applications will not be accepted without a written statement from your employer
covering each of the points below. If you are self-employed please provide full
details of the status of your organisation as well as details on yourself as an

Please provide details of the organisation for which the applicant is
• Give details of the length of time the applicant has been working in the organisation.
• Outline the roles and responsibilities of the applicant in the organisation in the timeframe stated above, including promotions and progressions, clearly
indicating the specific nature of the applicant’s current role.
• Please provide an assurance that the applicant is likely to remain in employment for the duration of their programme of study (3 years).

Applicants who are deemed eligible based on their written statements and
the statement provided by their employer, will be shortlisted. In some instances
applicants may also be invited to an interview.


This work-based programme in Early Childhood Care and Education is designed for people who have been working in the childcare sector for a number of years and who may already hold some qualifications in the childcare area, but now wish to obtain academic qualifications to degree level. 

Its overall aim is to produce competent and skilled early childhood professionals through a programme which provides a structured interaction between theory and practice.  The programme is underpinned by policy documents such as the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations, Aistear : The early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Siolta. 

On successful completion of this three year programme, students may enter the one year add-on Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Education.

Course Content

The course is offered over three years on a part-time basis and is designed on the basis of core strands which allow for the development of knowledge and skills in a range of relevant areas. These core strands are outlined below:

Year 1
Semester 1
  • Child Development 1
  • Introduction to Drama and Movement
  • Sociology of Childhood
  • Health and Wellbeing in the Early Years
  • Introduction to Child Centred Practice
  • Communications and Personal
Semester 2
  • Child Development 2
  • Introduction to Art and Music
  • Social Institutions and the Early Years
  • Health and Safety in the Early Years
  • Early Learning
  • Group and Team Dynamics in the
    Childcare Sector
Year 2
Semester 1
  • Psychology and Learning in Early
  • Child Centred Practice and Policy
  • Promoting Health in the Early Years
  • Placement Project 1
Semester 2
  • Childhood and Social Policy
  • Curriculum Development 1
  • Physical Education for Young Children
Year 3
Semester 1
  • Placement
  • Placement Project 2
  • Understanding Second Language
  • Legal Studies for Early Childhood Care
    and Education
  • Creative Group Facilitation for Young
Semester 2
  • Placement
  • Placement Project 2
  • Contemporary Professional Practice in
    Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Starting Your Own Business
  • Research Methods for the Early Years


Work-based students will be required to carry out one retrospective project drawing on their previous experience of working in the childcare sector in lieu of a Year 2 placement.  The Year 3 placement with a duration of two semesters is an important opportunity for the linking of theory to practice and will normally be carried out by the student in their current workplace.   Students will be required to complete a project which will document the application of Aistear: The early Childhood Curriculum Framework in an early years setting.  Students will also be required to document learning experiences with children for submission and present to their peers. 

Garda Clearance

Each student must undergo the ITB Garda vetting process. To ensure the protection of the public, and to justify public trust and confidence, the Institute is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake specific parts of the programme. Without satisfactory Garda clearance, students will be unable to complete the work placement and thus will not be able to complete the programme or receive an award. All places on the Early Childhood and Education course are provisional and subject to the student obtaining satisfactory Garda vetting from the Central Garda Vetting Unit. If an applicant has Garda clearance with their existing employer this may be sufficient, subject to Institute review. In all cases, the Institute reserves the right to request a student to complete the ITB Garda Vetting process. The current legal minimum age for application for sole application for Garda vetting is 18 years of age.


In addition to Garda vetting a medical assessment and provision of personal references may be required in regard to suitability for working with children.


How to Apply ?

Applications for this course will open shortly

For further details please contact the marketing team on 01 885 1530 or e-mail:

What our students say...

Niall Fagan

" I came to the open day here, and I liked the fact that it was small numbers, small classes and so hands-on. I work a lot better in a small group, I figured that out in the first few years of secondary! ."

Niall Fagan.

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