The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence relevant to work as an early years practitioner in a range of Early Childhood Care & Education settings (ECCE).  This QQI Level 6 common award is aimed at learners who wish to attain a recognised qualification and embark on a professional care in Early Childhood Care & Education.

On this full time course you will acquire a thorough knowledge of child development, comparative early years methodologies and how to create a positive learning environment for children.  Learners will develop the capacity to work and communicate effectively with parents, families, colleagues and other professionals to safeguard support and promote children's learning, development and well being.

Throughout the course learners will focus on a variety of assessment strategies including  observation, documentation and assessment tools to evaluate, plan, design and implement, and monitor activities and experiences which support children's learning.

Qualifications Gained

  • QQI Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care & Education (6M2007)

Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college. Acceptance to Full Time courses is interview based.

Course Structure

Full time (including work placement)

Course Content Modules

  1. Early Childhood Curriculum (mandatory)
  2. Child Development (mandatory)
  3. Childhood Social & Legal & Health Issues (mandatory)
  4. Personal & Professional Development  (mandatory)
  5. Work Experience  (mandatory)
  6. Early  Literacy & Numeracy
  7. Early Learning Environment
  8. Early Learning Arts & Culture
  9. Supervision in Childcare
  10. Early Learning Philosophy
  11. Special Needs Assisting
  12. Creative Studies for Special Needs

Students must choose elective modules in Montessori Pedagogy or Early Years Education.

Students must complete 8 modules in total to achieve a full award

Assignment Support

We understand the challenge of completing assignments at third level, the new skills and the change in thinking sometimes needed to put on paper, all that you have learned. We offer our students the opportunity to submit a draft assignment for informal feedback before submitting the final version. We care about your success, we want you to achieve the best you can and we offer you the individual support to acquire the skills you need to communicate what you have learned whilst studying with Portobello Institute.

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities include supervisor in a childcare and/or Montessori setting and Montessori Practitioner for three to six year olds. Graduates are qualified to open their own Montessori/Childcare facility.

What our students have to say...

Every year at the graduation we recognise those students who have excelled in their study with us by awarding them with a "student of the year" award. This year (2015) the student of the year for the Early Years department went to Joy Sekgoma. Here she writes about her experience of her studies with us and this course.

" I decided to study this course as I wanted to work with children and the Montessori method was an approach that really appealed to me. I choose Portobello and this course as it it seemed the most comprehensive one I found has been running a long time. I found the course intense but that was more down to my bad planning, this was a skill I had to learn but once I did I found the course easier. I struggled with child development the most, but in the end that became my favourite subject. The teachers were very supportive, they were more like mentors and always responded quickly if I had a query on an assignment. The support in the classroom was also brilliant and I have met life long friends from this course. My plan for doing this course was to return home to Botswana to open my own school and I am delighted to be currently in the process of opening my Montessori preschool. This was a very tough year for me, as I was studying, working and expecting a baby and also away from my 3 year old son back home, but to be finally doing what I have always dreamed makes it all worthwhile. In the future I fully plan to continue with the degree in Early Years- it's very important to me to keep on top of my education. I wanted to add that I am proud to be a part of a college with such a high standing in education and developing students into professional educators, thanks to Portobello for making it possible for me."

Access, Transfers and Progression

Successful completion of this course can facilitate direct entry into year 2 of a 4 year full BA (Hons) Level 8 in Early Childhood Studies- see details here, or direct entry into year 2 of our 3 year distance learning BA (Hons) Level 8 in Early Childhood Studies- see details here.

Back to Education Allowance

If you are currently unemployed and in receipt of a social welfare payment you may be eligible to the Back to Education Allowance which allows you to return to education and still retain your welfare payment  You must be aged 21 or over and be accepted onto an accredited full time course to meet the criteria. Please speak with your local welfare office to discuss your eligibility as there may be an alternative route.

Protection for Learners

QQI have introduced a mandatory insurance protection policy fee that must be paid by students enrolled on all courses with a duration of 12 weeks or over. This insurance cost is in addition to your course fees. 


Unfortunately the booking for this course is currently not available, please click on the contact us button below to find out more about this course:

Booking Enquiry