Guide to. Childcare Education & Training In County Carlow

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1 Guide to Childcare Education & Training In County

2 Introduction Early Childhood Care and Education is an increasingly adapting and growing field in Ireland. Progressively more parents and guardians require quality childcare facilities and the childcare sector in Ireland is becoming more regulated. The National Childcare Strategy ( ) aims to develop childcare infrastructure through the development of a strategic programme for standards and training in childcare. Therefore, there are more opportunities now than ever before to pursue an interesting and challenging career in childcare. Why Train in Childcare? Having a formal qualification can give you the skills and confidence to work in a variety of childcare settings and can give you wider options in pursuing a career in childcare. Further training or education, in addition to working in childcare can also complement valuable experience and knowledge gained through working directly with children. As a result, formal training is an evermore important requirement for childcare practitioners. This booklet aims to provide a summary of the potential training and types of career paths in the childcare sector. The different areas of professions in childcare and awards in third level education are explained. Types of awards in third level education are explained also. The guide goes on to explain various qualifications which can be undertaken in childcare and also which career paths these qualifications will lead the student towards. 1

3 Possible Professions in Childcare Childcare Assistant/ Room Assistant Special Needs Assistant Preschool Services Experience & Qualifications Supervisor/ Room Leader/ Team Leader Manager of Childcare Facility/ Childcare Provider I already have a qualification in childcare - is there more training or education I could do? There are a number of options open to childcare workers depending on the level of qualification already received and the career path you wish to take. For example, if you have a basic qualification you may wish to upgrade your skills and improve your career prospects by doing a more advanced course. If you are interested in progressing to third level, it is worth noting that a FETAC Level 5 (formally level 2) Certificate means that you can apply for a place in a number of higher education institutions (which is elaborated further in the guide). Support & Development Worker Childminder in own home Family Support Worker Tutor/Lecturer (further education or third level institution) Other Services Experience & Qualifications PlayTherapist/ Play Specialist After Schools Worker Youth Project Worker 2

4 Model Framework for Education, Training & Professional Development in ECCE in Ireland (2002) A Model Framework for Education, Training and Professional Development in the Early Childhood Care and Education Sector was published in 2002 to enable childcare professionals to identify clearly where they are in respect of their own professional development. This can in turn allow the childcare professional to plan for their future professional development within the sector. The model recognises that flexibility regarding the routes to achieving each stage in the profession is possible. The Model Framework suggests five stages of professional development for those in the childcare sector: Level Basic Skills and Knowledge Ability to carry out routine tasks. Directed activity under supervision. Intermediate Ability to carry out varied range of tasks in limited range of different contexts. Responsibility for own actions under direction. Experienced Ability to select from broad range of skills appropriate of contexts. Responsibility for quality of services, limited responsibility for work of others. Advanced Perform effectively in wide range of contexts involving creative and non-routine activities. Full autonomy and responsibility for own actions and those of others. Expert Engage in planning, policy development, research Complete autonomy in professional activities 3

5 Framework of Qualifications and Awarding Bodies The current framework for qualifications in Ireland developed in response to a need for a more flexible and integrated system of qualifications that could accommodate all needs in education and training. Three new organisations were developed in Ireland in 2001 under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act (1999). These include: The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) The Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) The Higher Education and Training Council (HETAC) The NQAI has developed the National Framework of Qualifications which is a ten level system that incorporates awards made for all stages of learning, whether it is gained in schools, the workplace, the community, training centres, colleges or universities. The following diagram outlines the different awarding bodies under the National Framework of Qualifications and lists which awards they grant and the level at which it is recognised under the framework: Source: 4

6 Education & Training There is an extensive range of accredited courses available for potential and practising childcare professionals. The table below provides a guide to training available for various levels of practitioners (as outlined by the Model Framework). The table indicates which level different childcare professions fall under, what qualifications are necessary to achieve such a position and some possible courses that are available to become a childcare practitioner. Level Job Title Suggested Qualification for Role Possible Courses Available Basic Room Assistant/ Childcare Assistant/ Room Leader Home Care Attendant/Home Support Worker Level 5 or Higher FETAC Level 5 Special Needs Assistant Level 5 or Higher FETAC Module in Special Needs Childminder Level 5 or Higher FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Childminding Practice Intermediate Team Leader Naionra Leader Level 5 or 6 or Higher Level 5 or Higher FETAC Level 5 or 6 FETAC Level 5 + Irish Language Module Experienced Supervisor Level 6 or Higher FETAC Level 6 Residential Childcare Worker/ Childcare Manager / Family Support Worker Level 6 or Higher + Training in Management Skills FETAC Level 6 B.A in Early Childhood Studies B.A. (Hons) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care Montessori Teacher/Manager Montessori 3 yr Degree or Higher B.A. in Montessori Training Advanced Manager/Youth Project Worker/ Residential Team Leader HETAC Degree/Equivalent or Higher B.A. (Hons) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care B.A. in Early Childhood Studies Play Specialist/Play Therapist HETAC Diploma/ Equivalent +Play Specialist Course Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills Support and Development Workers/Advisory Officers Degree or Higher B.A (Hons) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care B.A. in Early Childhood Studies Expert Tutors/Lecturers Masters MA. in Education MA. in Social Science Information Research/ Facilitation/ Strategic Planning Masters or Higher As above 5

7 The following educational institutions provide most of the courses indicated in the table on the previous page Name & Address Details Institute of Technology HETAC Level 8 Kilkenny Rd B.A. (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Duration: 4 years Tel: Web: College HETAC Level 6 St. Patricks Higher Certificate in Arts in Applied Social Studies College Street Duration: 2 years HETAC Level 8 B.A. (Hons)Applied Social Studies in Social Care (in addition to higher certificate) Tel: Web: Colaiste Eoin FETAC Level 5 Hacketstown Co. Duration: 2 years Tel: Tullow Community School FETAC Level 5 The Mullawn with Special Needs Tullow Duration: 2 years Co. Tel: Muine Bheag Vocational School FETAC Level 5 Mount St. Joseph Tullow Co. Tel: Institute of Further Education FETAC Level 5 Kilkenny Rd FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Community and Health Services (Special Needs Assistant) FETAC Level 6 CACHE Level 3 (U.K.) Diploma in Childcare and Education Duration: 2 years CACHE Level 3 (U.K.) Certificate for Teaching Assistants Tel: Web: 6

8 From FETAC to HETAC FETAC graduates are eligible to apply to Institutes of Technology and Universities for follow-on courses. The following Institutes of Technology and Universities provide courses in Social Care and Early Childhood Studies: Institute of Technology Dundalk Institute of Technology Dublin Institute of Technology Limerick Institute of Technology Cork Institute of Technology Waterford Institute of Technology Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Institute of Technology Sligo Athlone Institute of Technology University College Cork University College Dublin NUI Maynooth (It is important to note that course content may vary between different educational institutions) FAS Training FAS is another key provider of childcare training. It has run accredited childcare courses in the South East for unemployed people since the 1980 s. Community Employment (CE) is a scheme which provides eligible unemployed people with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities, including the childcare setting, on a temporary basis. It helps long-term unemployed people to re-enter the active workforce through a return to a work routine and to assist them to enhance/develop both their technical and personal skills. Local organisations/groups (for example, a community childcare facility) that plan and manage Community Employment projects will provide you with work opportunities. You will be provided with work for one year for an average of 39 hours per fortnight. Your sponsor will arrange your hours in consultation with FAS. Some participants may be re-engaged for a further year by sponsors, with FAS agreement. Childcare places on the CE scheme, however, are limited. For further information on a CE scheme in, contact FAS on (source: 7

9 Additional Training Courses In addition to the accredited courses available to childcare practitioners outlined, there are many childcare training courses offering practitioners the opportunity to update their skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis. These courses may include for example, Behaviour Management, Policy and Procedures Training, First Aid Refresher Courses to name a few. This Training is provided by the following agencies: County Childcare Committee 16 Dublin Road St Catherine s Community Centre St.Joseph s Rd Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) Meadow Court 46 Burrin Street Institute of Further Education Kilkenny Road The information given in this guide is correct at time of print, however some details may have changed. Please contact the relevant body for up to date information. 8

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