Early Years and Childcare

Portobello Institute offers a wide range of courses to suit the demands of current and prospective Early Childhood Care and Education professionals. Whether you choose to study full-time, part-time or through distance learning there is a study option to suit you. Our courses are QQI approved and internationally recognised. 

QQI - Early Childhood Care and Education (Montessori) 

1 Year Full Time or approx. 1.5 years Part Time/Distance 

The purpose of this award is to enable the learner to acquire the knowledge, skill and competence to work as an autonomous practitioner and or take responsibility for the work of others in leading and coordinating the provision of a quality early childhood care and education environment which promotes children's well-being, development and learning (birth - 6 years). This course is a Major Award (QQI Level 6) on the Common Award System. Learners will cover Montessori curriculum elective modules, in addition to mandatory modules in Child Development, Social, Legal and Health Issues, Personal and Professional Development and Early Childhood Curriculum. All pre-school leaders delivering the ECCE programme from Sept 2015 are required to hold this qualification. 

Read past student Joy Sekgoma's review of her year with us studying this course- read here.


Higher Certificate in Arts in Montessori Education 

2 Year Full Time

Our Higher Certificate in Arts in Montessori Education course prepares you for the task of helping children aged 3-6 and 6-9 years to develop to the fullness of their individual potential. This 2 year full-time Montessori course provides an opportunity to study Montessori pedagogy, practices and child development in depth, as well as an interdisciplinary approach to the study of humans, their endeavors and their relationship with the universe. This is an ideal course to study if you are interested in working within a Montessori environment, with children from 3 - 9 years.

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies 

4 years distance / 3 years full time

*direct entry to Year 2 with QQI 6 ECCE 

Offered in collaboration with London Metropolitan University, UK. 

The focus of this course is the study of the play, development and learning of children from birth - 6 years old in a socio-cultural context and the implications of this for practice in early childhood settings. The course emphasizes the links between theory and practice and highly values the development of professional as well as academic skills and knowledge.

The course equips you to implement effective practice with children and families in a range of situations and to act as an advocate for their rights and well-being. The ECS course team includes writers and researchers at the forefront of the field who are passionately committed to enabling, empowering and enthusing students to make transformational changes to their own lives and to the lives of children, families and communities. 

Read Aoife Bradley's experience with studying this course with us - read here.

Learner Fund

The Learner Fund offers existing early years staff a subsidy towards the cost of early years courses at Level 5 or Level 6. This funding supports staff working in early years services to achieve the new minimum qualifications to be introduced from September 2015. The Learner Fund is subsidizing hundreds of learners who applied during 2014, and who will be continuing their courses into 2015. Portobello Institute is currently offering Learner Fund approved training nationwide (blended option with 8 Saturdays in total). Please click here <> to enquire if you have been approved funding. 

Short Courses (up to 12 weeks)  Other popular part-time courses include Special Needs Assisting, Therapeutic Play Skills, Child Psychology, Child Development and First Aid courses. We also offer an array of one day workshops and our distance learning department have a range of short courses to consider. Please browse our full course profiles. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly for further advise or guidance. 

Wishing you all the best,
Jennifer Matteazzi


Early Years Department
01 892 0040
jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute.ie