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Early Childhood Education / Oideachas Luathaoise Leanaí

DT572

What is ... Early Childhood Education?

Early Childhood Education generally refers to the care and education of children in Early Years settings and generally means education before the start of primary school attendance which is 0-6 years in Ireland. These services include pre-schools, Naíonraí, specific intervention centres such as community support preschools, Barnardo childcare services, Focus Ireland support services, Crèches, Child minding and After-School groups.

The early years are now well recognised by legislators, policy makers, educationalists and researchers as a critical period in children’s learning and development. Responding to the needs and rights of children and families receiving services in this sector, the Early Childhood Education professional needs to understand many facets of the young child’s learning and development and the role of early education and care in promoting the best outcomes for children.

Located in the new Grangegorman campus in 2014 [+find out more]

What are my... Career Opportunities?

Graduates of the Early Childhood Education degree work as practitioners and as managers in an early years setting such as crèches, day nurseries, pre-schools, after-school services, special education services, early start classrooms and family centres. Graduates also work in the area of project development and in management positions in the Health Service Executive, country childcare committees and in public and voluntary organisations.

What other options do I have after completion?

Graduates of this Level 8 programme will be eligible to progress to Masters Degrees (Level 9) in a wide range of disciplines across the Social Sciences, e.g. MA in Child, Family and Community Studies, Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary Teaching) or MA in Mentoring, Management and Leadership in the Early Years. 

Learning Outcomes: What will I Study?

The Learning Outcomes are set out in accordance with the NQAI framework and developed related to Knowledge, Know-how/ Skill and Competence.

Module Listing

Year 1

  • Psychology and Child Development
  • Early Education
  • Professional Practice in the Early Years
  • Child Health and Nutrition
  • Art in Early Education
  • Drama in Education
  • Supervised Practice Placement
  • Sociology and Social Policy
  • Research Methods in the Early Years
  • Skills Development

Year 2

  • Child Development in Context
  • Mental Health during the Early Years
  • Inclusion in Early Years Practice
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy
  • Aistear and Early Years Curricula
  • Outdoor Learning
  • Supervised Practice Placement
  • Law
  • Documenting Children’s Learning

Options: Art in Early Education or Drama in Education

Year 3

  • Pedagogy and Curriculum
  • Perspectives on Early Childhood Education: Issues in Policy, Practice and Research
  • Digital Childhoods
  • Working with Families and Communities
  • Child protection in Early Years Services
  • Introduction to Business and Management Skills in Early Years Services
  • Sociology of Education and Inequality
  • Supervised practice Placement
  • Research Methods and Dissertation

Are there study abroad options?

Students are offered the opportunity to apply to do an Erasmus exchange in the 4th semester (Spring Year 2) of the programme. (These arrangements may be subject to change)

Further Information

T: (01) 402 4164 (School Office)

E: socialsciences@dit.ie

What our Students say!

As a mature student with over fifteen years experience in the vocational area I gained entry to the second year of the programme as a result of the advanced entry process. Age did not prevent me from actively participating in a programme which allowed for learning from lecturers who imparted deep and vast amount of knowledge in subject areas linking theory to practice. The support and encouragement which I received from lecturers and fellow students kept me highly motivated throughout. The curriculum is extremely relevant to current policies and practices and class sizes are great. My experience was a very worthwhile one and I would recommend the programme to anyone who wishes to pursue a career in early childhood education.

Before coming to DIT I completed a Fetac Level 5 & 6 in Childcare, but most of my classmates came straight from secondary school.  In 1st and 2nd year of the course I kept busy by joining the Volunteering Society and took part in Outreach trips in Malawi, Africa with the organisation Wells for Zoe. It was an unforgettable learning experience and I have great memories from it. In 3rd year we were given the opportunity to visit the Outdoor Preschools in Norway, and it was so much fun! During my 3 years in DIT, the tutors were very knowledgeable and were always really helpful. I left DIT with my Degree, great memories and best friends! Since graduating, I first worked as a Senior Nursery Nurse in an ECCE and Afterschool room, and was then promoted to Deputy Manager, and I love it! I hope in the future to become more involved in the community aspect of childcare provision and I am currently looking into the MA in Child, Family and Community studies in DIT. Holding a degree in Early Childhood Education is so valuable; you can see it is what childcare providers are really looking for these days so the Degree has really set me off on the right road for my career. Angela Kennedy - Graduated with a B.A. (Hons.) 2015