06 January, 2022 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

What can I do with Early Childhood Studies at Portobello Institute?

What can you do with Early Childhood Studies?

The professionalisation of the early years sector in Ireland is well and truly underway.   

The Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report 2019/2020 by DCEDIY and Pobal has found that 27% of staff working directly with children now hold an NFQ Level 7 qualification or higher.   

The early years sector is growing steadily towards being graduate led. 

This means that having a Level 7 degree or higher in early childhood studies is becoming more and more necessary for roles in the early years setting. Studying further will put you ahead for top jobs in the coming years.

It is estimated that 30,883 staff work in the sector, 85% of whom worked directly with children.  

This means around 26,250 early years staff work directly with children. Almost one-third of those now hold a Level 7 degree or higher.  

This is contributing to the professionalisation of the sector as more practitioners commit to degrees there has also been a reduction in staff turnover down 7% from two years ago, according to the report.   

What Can You Do with ECCE and Montessori Teaching (Level 6)? 

Montessori Teaching and Early Childhood Care & Education, will give you the qualification that will allow you to open your own setting or work in the capacity of a room leader/supervisor/manager in a Montessori room. 

You can also study ECCE on its own but combining Montessori Teaching with it gives you a more well-rounded qualification and opens much more job opportunities. 

What Can You Do with BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies (Level 7)? 

As an early years graduate, working as a manager in an early childhood setting is a natural career progression. There will also be new career options available to you. Upon successful completion of this degree, you will be eligible to apply for more diverse roles such as those within community projects and public health. 

If you hold this level 7 degree, you are eligible to gain the higher capitation grant from the DCEDIY (formerly the DCYA) for your role in an early childhood centre. 

What Can You Do with BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Level 8)?

The project provides you with opportunities to improve your critical thinking and research skills. Students on this programme refine their academic writing and communication skills as well as getting the opportunity to investigate in detail a topic or area in their current practice that interests them. 

This degree opens the following doors: 

Own or Manage a Setting – With a degree in early childcare studies, you can open, own, operate, manage, and work within any early years setting in Ireland where you will be eligible for the higher capitation grant under the ECCE scheme.  You can undertake the role of; Room Leader, Facility Manager or Owner/Manager. 

Become a Special Needs Teacher – Having completed the degree in early childhood studies you could work in funded special needs early years facilities and become registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland.  

Become a Primary School Teacher – If you have your degree and honours Irish you can apply for professional masters in primary school education which will allow you to work as a primary school teacher. 

Become a Childcare Tutor in Further Education – For those interested in tutoring, they need to combine their degree with a level 6 teaching qualification to become a tutor on Level 5 and 6 early years and special needs programmes. 

Work for a Government Agency – You can work for government agencies or early years support bodies such as County Childcare Committees etc.  Roles with these organisations can vary from management and administration of services to monitoring of childcare and education settings.  For instance, when Tusla advertise for an Early Years Inspector role, you must have a Level 8 degree and 5 years of work experience in a childcare setting. This is an exciting role where you will use your knowledge and experience to improve the service offered in various childcare settings.  It involves inspecting facilities, investigating issues, advising providers and writing reports.  Constant liaison with other agencies and assisting in the development of childcare policy are also part of the role. Obviously, for this role, the experience gained in a childcare setting is essential, however, the knowledge of best practices in childcare provision and management derived from the degree is crucial to effectively undertake this role. 

Engage in Postgraduate Study and Research – Many students who have completed the degree programme long to learn more and undertake postgraduate education to masters and doctorate level to pursue their research interests. 

What Can You Do with MA Early Childhood Studies (Level 9)?

As with any other profession holding a Masters Degree will give you the edge, keep you abreast of the latest research in early years care and education and build further on the strong foundation of knowledge you have acquired from your undergraduate studies. 

The MA in Early Childhood Studies offers you an opportunity to advance your knowledge, understanding and professional practice through engagement with current research and thinking in early childhood. It also involves a reflection on, and analysis of, your own professional practice, supporting your personal development as well as putting you in a strong position for career progression in this sector. 

A master's in early childhood studies can open up a range of job opportunities for you both in and out of the early years setting that you may not have previously considered or even been eligible for. 

Consider areas of administration, working as part of the inspectorate, tutoring on level 7 degree programmes, policy development,  research into the early years sector, working as a Standards Verifier of external results; The opportunities are much wider than you possibly are aware of and all of these opportunities put your expertise and experience of the early years sector to good use, enhancing your career opportunities whilst also enhancing the sector and helping gain the recognitions deserved for the early years profession. You will continue to have an impact on children at a critical part in their lives, but you can develop how and where you do this; taking on advisory and consultation roles, lecturing roles and inspectorate roles. 

A Master's degree will immediately increase your earning potential due to the wider range of career opportunities that will now be open to you. This Masters in Early Childhood Studies qualification will elevate your employability and give you the opportunity to command a higher pay scale than your less qualified peers.

Check out your options for Early Childhood Studies here.

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