Career Profile: Working as a Pre-School Teacher

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Becca Smyth tells us about deciding to become a pre-school teacher, her educational path and the day-to-day challenges of her work.


I decided to become a pre-school teacher after I had completed one year of an Arts degree in UCD. This was because I felt I had a lot to offer children. In addition, I saw that there was a lack of provision of childcare in Ireland. I was also drawn to the long holidays, along with the thought of working in a changing daily environment.

I’ve always enjoyed working with people. Because of that I felt that a career in childcare would enable me to work with the family and wider community, as well as children.

Firstly, I obtained an Ordinary-Level degree in Early Childhood Care and Education at DIT. There was no Honours-Level course at the time. I later applied to upgrade the course at night, as I was working full-time at a pre-school.

After that, I completed courses such as Paediatric First Aid, Early Language Literacy, Play Development, Inclusive Play, Diploma in Social science and Irish Sign Language. Continuous training is recommended.


My average working day is from 8:30 until 4:30. It includes activities such as arts and crafts, book time, outside play and filling out reports when the children go home. Taking work home is difficult to avoid.

Being responsible for a group of four year olds isn’t a walk in the park either but preparation is key. Patience and an ability to multi-task are paramount.

There are many benefits of working with children: seeing a child’s behaviour, speech or physical ability evolve over a period of time is, to me, the most rewarding job you could ask for. Working with children allows you to view the world in a different light. Any childcare professional will know you cannot work with children alone. The presence of the surrounding family is vital. Solving problems concerning the children’s behaviour with the parents is satisfying and rewarding. It provides a great sense of achievement. 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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