Career Profile – Childcare

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After 20 years working as a PA to senior executives in the finance industry, I felt ready for a new challenge and the urge to do something completely different. Working with children has always appealed to me, but without a relevant qualification I knew I would not get very far.

Whilst researching various childcare courses, I came across a full-time course in Childcare offered by the College of Progressive Education in Blackrock. This course attracted my interest because of the emphasis on work placement, which was an integral part of the course.   After meeting the college co-ordinator I decided to enrol in the full-time course in Childcare, and in addition enrol in an evening course on Special Needs also run by the College of Progressive Education. Going back to college, however, was a daunting prospect.   Would I have the discipline to study again, would I be able to cope with the workload, would I even enjoy it? These were some of the concerns at the forefront of my mind. The courses unleashed an appetite for learning I never knew I had.   I found both courses very stimulating covering a broad range of subjects in Childcare and Special Needs. The enthusiasm that the tutors had for their subjects made the lectures very engaging, and as a result, studying was more enjoyable than I expected.

I now intend to continue my learning and advance my qualifications further. Completing both courses demanded significant commitment, with some evenings and weekends sacrificed so that I could dedicate time to projects. Meeting deadlines and undertaking research was also challenging, but the huge sense of achievement on completion of the projects made it all worthwhile. There was a good spirit amongst the class where we all faced the challenges together. We regularly worked in teams on various assignments and I really enjoyed the social side of being a student and made some good friends. Since completing the courses, I have secured a position as a fully qualified Childcare Assistant in the setting where I carried out my work placement.

Overall I feel that I have gained enormously from both courses, the experience has broadened my horizons and enabled me to change my career.   I would encourage anybody who is considering going back to full time education to research their options well and take the plunge – you won‘t regret it. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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