• » Higher Certificate of Science in Early Childhood Care, Health and Education

    Programme Title  Higher Certificate of Science in Early Childhood Care, Health and Education
    CAO Code  LY906
    LYIT internal code  
    Duration  2 Years
    Standard Code Places:  24
    Fundation Places:  2
    FETAC Places:  2
    National Framework Level  6
    Award Type  Major
    Awarding Body  LYIT, under Delegated Authority from QQI
    Is this Course for You?  
    This is a two year programme designed to introduce students to the disciplines involved in early years’ education. The programme provides an introduction to a wide range of theoretical and practical skills including the developing child, children’s behavior, curriculum studies, creativity and imagination, child protection, child health and practical methods of engaging children through play. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in work placement settings. Students, on successful completion of the HC may progress to the BSc (Hons) ECCHE or choose to work within the early years’ education sector.
    Minimum Entry Requirements
    At least five Leaving Certificate subjects, including English or Irish at OD3 or higher (not Foundation Level Irish), and Maths at OD3/FB2/HE.
    Have obtained a full FET Level 5 5M2786/DCHCC or 5M2009/DCHSC including distinctions in at least three of the following modules:
    • D20153/5N1770:                      Working in Childcare
    • D20159/5N1765:                      Caring for Children
    • D20005/5N1764:                      Child Development
    • D20007/5N1773:                Early Childhood Education
    Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements may be admitted to the programme on the grounds of mature years, if they have attained appropriate experience and attainment thresholds deemed equivalent. Applicants may avail of LYIT’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.
    Suitably qualified direct applicants may be eligible for admission to Year 2.
    FET Quota
    A quota of 2 places is reserved for those presenting QQI/FET results. For further information on FET applications please see here.
    Garda Vetting
    Applicants who join this course will have to be vetted by the Gardaí. If the Gardaí raise an issue it will have to be addressed satisfactorily. If it is not, students will not be able to fulfil the course requirements, in which case students will be asked to leave the course. Students will also be vetted prior to placement by the relevant placement provider.
    What will I study?
    In addition to the modules listed below, workshops and seminars may be held.
    Year/SemesterProposed ModulesMandatory/
    No of creditsClass hours per week
     1/1   Introduction to Psychology & Sociology Mandatory  10  8
      Introduction to Irish Law Mandatory  5  5
      Professional Scholarship Mandatory  5  6
      Education & Play Mandatory  10  10
     1/2   Early Years Environment Mandatory  10  8
      Curriculum Studies Mandatory  10  8
      Child Protection and Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons Mandatory  5  6
      Understanding Children’s Behaviour Mandatory  5  6
     2/3   Practice Placement 1 Mandatory  30  30hrs x 12wks
     2/4   Creativity in the Early Years Mandatory  5  6
      Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Mandatory  10  8
      Child Health & Disability Mandatory  10  8
      Child Health & Disability Mandatory  10  8
    Learning Outcomes 
    On completion of this programme, the student will be able to:
    • Knowledge and understanding of the understanding of the fundamental principles underpinning Early Childhood care in order to practice within the current legislative framework and guidelines;
    • Specialised knowledge and understanding in the areas of child development, learning theories and early childhood pedagogy;
    • Acquired methods for generating, processing, interpreting and presenting information in the areas above;
    • The ability to demonstrate the general skills required for working in the area of Childhood care and the skills required to make informed decisions in relation to a task; 
    • The skills required to identify, define and resolve routine problems in an Early Childhood setting;
    • The ability to integrate and apply key skills and knowledge in work based projects;
    • Acquired the skills to develop increasing competence and capacity as an independent Early Years Educator;
    • The ability to communicate with confidence and empathy and understand the relevance of reflection as a learning and self-development tool.
    Placement is an integral part of the programme and provides students with an opportunity to learn from experience through supervised practice. Experiential learning in this way provides opportunities to reflect on practice and to apply theory to practice. The work placement also provides the student with opportunities for observation and engagement in needs assessment, early childhood curriculum planning and implementation.
    Follow-on Courses
    Students who successfully complete the Higher Certificate at the required standard are eligible to apply for entry into the Degree programme which is available internally at LYIT or through a range of other Institutes of Technology and Universities in Ireland and abroad.
    Career Opportunities
    The Childcare Act (1991) and ensuing regulation of early childhood care and education together with other national initiatives has created a strong demand for graduates of childcare studies who are able to work across traditional disciplinary and professional boundaries. Consequently, childcare and education is a rapidly expanding service that is providing career and further educational opportunities for graduates.
    The main employers are:
    • Private Sector Childcare Facilities such as crèches, nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools, homework clubs;
    • The Health Services – special needs services, family support services and community services
    • Primary Schools – classroom assistant;
    • Other Public Services – specialist advisor, researcher, social planning.