DT572 Programme Description Demand for quality childcare has soared in recent years due to both parents working outside the home and the desire for parents to give their children the opportunity to grow socially and cognitively under the care of trained professionals. In line with these increasing demands this degree programme has been designed for those who wish to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education. Graduates of the programme possess an understanding of the holistic development of the child based on sound knowledge of current relevant theory. Throughout the programme the whole child is the focus of study and the child is studied in the context of the family, community and society. Play is seen as central to young children‚Äôs development and theory and practice are combined to encourage the development of a critical, refl ective practitioner. It is a requirement of the placement providers that all students on this programme must undergo Garda vetting procedures before being allowed to register. Students must complete the required documentation, including a full list of all previous addresses, in order for clearance checks to be made. Students with previous addresses outside of the Republic of Ireland will be required to provide evidence of vetting by the relevant authority in which the address is located and at their own cost. Currently Irish addresses are vetted by the Garda Vetting Unit at no cost to the student. Career Opportunities Graduates of this programme fi nd employment as practitioners and as managers in a variety of early years settings such as cr?®ches, day nurseries, pre-schools, afterschool services, special early years services, early start classrooms and family centres. Graduates also work in the area of project development and in management positions in the Health Service Executive; county childcare committees and national voluntary organisations. Some proceed to postgraduate study in areas such as social work and primary education.