Early Childhood Care and Education / Cúram agus Oideachas Luath-Óige

  • Leaving Certificate
  • QQI-FET Graduates
  • Mature Applicants

The minimum entry standard for Leaving Certificate graduates progressing to an ab-initio Ordinary Degree (NFQ Level 7) programme is a grade O6/H7 in five subjects, these subjects must include Maths and English or Irish. Foundation level mathematics will meet the minimum entry requirement where a grade F2 or higher is achieved. The minimum entry standards for FETAC graduates is a full level 5 on QQI.

Applicants must have a minimum of two years’ experience working in a recognised early childhood environment and continue to hold an early childhood position for the duration of the course.

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 (2 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.


Garda Vetting Requirements:

Garda vetting is a requirement of all employees of early childhood settings and as such, is a requirement of entry to the work-based BA Early Childhood Care and Education.

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


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.

Graduates of the Early Childhood Care and Education courses 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.

The course is offered over two 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
  • Drama and Movement
  • Sociology of Childhood
  • Health & Wellbeing in the Early Years
  • Child Centred Practice
  • Skills for Success in Higher Education

Year 1 Semester 2

  • Child Development 2
  • Art & Music
  • Social Institutions and the Early Years
  • Health & Safety in the Early Years
  • Early Learning
  • Early Childhood Curriculum

Year 1 Semester 3

  • Practice Placement*
  • Practice Placement Project

Year 2 Semester 1

  • Psychology and Learning in Early Childhood
  • Team & Group Dynamics in the Childcare Sector
  • Childhood and Social Policy
  • Literacy & Numeracy
  • Curriculum & Pedagogy
  • Outdoor Learning & Risky Play

Year 2 Semester 2

  • Language Acquisition
  • Creative Group Facilitation for Young Children
  • Legal Studies for Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Professional Practice & Child Protection
  • Equality & Diversity in Early Childhood
  • Research Methods for the Early Years

Year 2 Semester 3

  • Advanced Practice Placement*
  • Advanced Placement Project**

* Practice Placement will be graded on a Pass / Fail basis and these 20 credits will not be included in the calculation of the GPA for the stage

** Advanced Practice Placement will be graded on a Pass / Fail basis and these 20 credits will not be included in the calculation of the GPA for the stage

Year 1

  • Monday and Wednesday 6pm-9pm and 1 Saturday per month

Year 2

  • Monday and Wednesday 6pm-9pm and 1 Saturday per month

Blended learning will support delivery Academic modules will run over two semesters per year commencing in September and January respectively.

Placement project will be completed from June – August in both years, supported by the student's work-based experience over the course of the programme.

2020 Applications Now Open 

Before making your application and paying the non-refundable €50 application fee please read the following guidelines. https://tudublin.ie/study/part-time/how-to-apply/

Click here to apply

I had been working in early years for almost 6 years and had a lot of experience; my manager at the time recommended the course and the college to me. The classes are very interactive and the modules are relevant to anyone working in the sector. The college has great facilities and great staff. The lecturers are extremely knowledgable and are always on hand to give advice and support whenever needed. This course will bring you the knowledge and skills to work with children and their families. It has really benefitted my career and has made a huge difference to how I work. I have recently opened my own early years service and without this course I would have never had the confidence or knowledge to do so. I have been inspired to continue to further my education and to see the importance of continued professional development so I can continue to grow and learn throughout my career. I can see myself in education for the rest of my career thanks to the inspiring lecturers at TU Dublin.

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

TU Code



NFQ Level 7


Bachelor of Arts


2 years

Course Type


Mode of Study

Part Time

Method of Delivery


Commencement Date

September 2020




€3,000 per year

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