Courses in

Nursing and Social Care

GMIT Early Childhood Education and Care degree

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care

A three year degree which includes 12 hours of weekly placement in an early years setting. This course provides learners with a comprehensive education in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

Discipline: Nursing and Social Care

Programme Code: 


Location: Mayo

NFQ Level: 7

Programme Duration: Three years

Mode of Study: Full time

Application Route: Apply through the CAO

Places: 30

CAO Round 1 Points: 250 (2017)

Why Study?

Do you aspire to work with young children?

If so, here at GMIT's Mayo campus in Castlebar, County Mayo, we offer a contemporary and dynamic approach to professional preparation in the early years sector.

This course has a strong emphasis on merging theory with practice. We encourage a very reflective approach to both facilitation and learning and see our learners as our number one priority.

Young (developing) children require educators who are able to provide high quality care and education. The significance of having qualified and trained ECEC educators is now accepted by parents, policy makers and society at large. It is therefore timely that those who care for and teach the young, and those who aspire to be ECEC professionals, can now pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 7) at GMIT, Mayo campus.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Sector, has grown over the last ten years. Evidence of expansion of the sector is the recent introduction by the Department of Child and Youth Affairs of a second year for children on the Early Childhood Care and Education programme.

This three year Bachelor of Arts award is designed to provide learners with a comprehensive education in Early Childhood Education and Care. This course aims to equip the learner with knowledge, skills and competencies required for autonomous working practice in Early Childhood Education and Care. There are clear pathways for progression and career advancement.

A child-led transformational philosophy will underpin the programme to build authentic reciprocal relationships with children, parents, colleagues, the community and other professionals. The course is based on the contemporary principles of best practice as determined by Síolta, The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education (2006) and Aistear, The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (2009).

***Download our brochure here (PDF, 1.4MB)***


Advanced Entry

Direct entry into Year 2 is available for learners who have completed QQI at Level 6 in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Visit our Admissions page where you can apply under "Advanced Entry".

Programme Modules

Year 1

  • Psychology and Child Development
  • Importance of Play
  • Creativity and Language
  • Building Interpersonal Relationships
  • Exploring Curriculum
  • Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Learning and Innovation Skills
  • Health, Safety and Well-being
  • Practice Development 1

Year 2

  • Early Childhood Law
  • Supporting enquiry with children to enact the Curriculum
  • Sociological discourses in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Childhood Development and Learning (under 3’s)
  • Diversity and Equality
  • Research with Children
  • Learning Environments
  • Practice Development 2

Year 3

  • Leadership and Governance
  • Trends in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Transitions in Early Childhood Education and Care,
  • Family Centred Practice and Supports,
  • Outdoor Play
  • Employment Law.
  • Practice Development 3 – Action Research

Career Opportunities

With the introduction of the Early Childhood Care and Education programme the BA in Early Childhood Education and Care QQI level 7 graduates working in the sector will be eligible for the higher capitation.

Employment opportunities appear positive in the short and medium term.

Graduates would have enhanced employability within the rapidly professionalising sector, furthermore, graduates would be well-placed to occupy supervisory functions within the sector, in accordance with new funding requirements.

Essential Information: 

What’s special about this programme?


Practice Development

Practice development is an integral part of the BA in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Our learners undertake 12 hours practice development per week, in an Early Years setting, which allows you to apply what you have learned in a real-world environment.

Garda vetting is required.


Study environment

The college campus is situated in the centre of Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The town has a wide range of shops, bars, restaurants, a cinema and several other leisure opportunities. Our campus building is a charming mixture of old and new and there are around 800 students.

Our campus is known and loved for its friendly and informal atmosphere, which is highly appreciated by our learners.

Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Student presentations
  • Project oriented learning

The campus offers students opportunities to join a wide range of clubs and societies, exploring and participating in many interests. GMIT Clubs and Societies promote community and student involvement and gives students an opportunity to meet like-minded people and have fun!

Contact Us


Mary Skillington

Phone: +353 (0) 94 904 3133

eMail: Mary Skillington