This Childcare Career Guide provides guidance on education, career and qualifications. Childcare professionals work across a wide range of childcare service provision areas, from full-time daycare to childminding in their own home. No matter the area they are working in childcare professionals are required to provide an excellent standard of care to any and all children under their supervision and they must be able to cater for each child’s individual needs. Childcare is an industry which has seen radical reform over the past decade in Ireland. With the introduction of a number of regulations and government schemes the childcare industry is now a regulated and monitored service in Ireland. With the number of working families in Ireland, the demand for high-quality childcare services is at an all-time high and the industry is fast becoming a popular career choice for many people.
Childcare Career Guide: Careers in Childcare
As mentioned above there are a wide variety of career options available to those considering a career in childcare. You may be considering setting up your own childcare facility or applying for a position in a local childcare service. Whatever your choice there are some key requirements that anyone considering working with children must meet:
- With the introduction of the Early Years (Pre-school) Regulations the Department of Children and Youth Affairs have identified the minimum education requirements for those working in childcare. The new regulations (when they come into force) will require that all staff working in an Early Years Setting will have at a minimum a Level 5 Major Award in Early Years Education.
- Any person who is planning to work with children will be required to have Garda Clearance. This is usually applied-for, by the childcare organisation on behalf of the employee. Details on applying for and receiving Garda Clearance can be found here.
A common factor among childcare professional is that they are very passionate about the industry they are working in. Childcare can be classified as a vocation. Childcare professionals work very hard to provide an excellent standard of care for all of the children under their supervision. Recent publications and research into the subject of early years care have also now begun to acknowledge the importance of structured and curriculum-based early year’s education for preschool children.
Childcare Career Guide: Childcare Qualifications
As mentioned in this Childcare Career Guide there are no minimum educational requirements for those working in childcare. A QQI Level 5 Major Award, or recognised equivalent, is the minimum qualification required for those hoping to start a career in childcare. Room Leaders within the setting will be required to hold a QQI Level 6 Major Award, or recognised equivalent. Government initiatives such as the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) are also acknowledging the need to have fully qualified staff in early years centres and their capitation grants issued to settings who are availing of the scheme are subject to the level of qualifications the staff in the centre currently hold. The highest capitation grant is being awarded to settings where a certain number of staff hold a Degree in Early Years Education. When selecting which qualification is most suited to you, you may wish to consider the following:
As mentioned earlier in this Childcare Career Guide those who are hoping to move into a supervisory or room leader role within childcare will be required to hold a Level 6 qualification. Progression from Level 6 is available for those looking to complete a Degree programme at Level 7 or 8. Alternatively, if you already hold a primary qualification in another field you may be eligible to apply to take a Degree course in Early Years Education. There are a number of full and part-time degree programmes available for learners such as the Degree in Early Childhood Education offered by the Carlow Institute of Technology and the entry requirements are available on request.
What will I learn?
While individual programmes will vary from provider to provider if you are enrolling on the Level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education (6M2007) award with CMIT you can expect to study a comprehensive course which will equip you with both theoretical and practical knowledge across all areas relevant to working in a modern early years setting. The individual modules covered in this programme include:
- Child Development
- Child Psychology
- Equality and Diversity in Childcare
- Childhood Social Legal and Health Studies in Childcare
- Early Childhood Curriculum
- Team Leadership
- Supervision in Early Childhood Care
- Work Experience
The programme is delivered through Tutor supported eLearning allowing you a flexible approach to your studies. You will have access to a dedicate Tutor for the duration of your course who will provide written feedback for you on all assignment submissions. Live lectures are held online allowing you to attend from home, work and even on your mobile phone!
Childcare Career Guide: Job Prospects
Childcare is a growing industry and demand for quality Early Year Settings is higher than ever. A quick search on a local jobs database will no doubt return a high number of hits for available positions throughout Ireland. If you are considering setting up your own childcare setting a good place to start would be the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) as they are responsible for the inspection of all new settings in Ireland. If you are considering setting up a Childminding service from your own home Childminding Ireland is a useful resource. For full details on CMIT’s Level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education (6M2007) course please do not hesitate to contact our Student Support Team in the college on 01-2865783.