CAO Code : MI 007
The course is inter-disciplinary in design and offers students the opportunity to become specialists in the care and education of young children between birth and six years of age. Recent Government reports, along with a growing body of international research, highlight the importance of the early years period in human development.
The course focuses on the concept of the term ‘educare’ and as such views the education and care of young children from a developmental perspective, which is holistic, yet tailored to suit individual needs.
Specialisation in the combined areas of care and education demands a deep knowledge of both theory and practice. Consequently, the course is delivered as an integrated whole with periods of work placement interspersed throughout the four years.
Theoretical underpinnings encourage students to understand the nature of child development within an ecological framework that is influenced by such things as the concept of the family in contemporary society, the community, societal attitudes and values, social policy and a host of historical, philosophical, socioligical and international factors.
Work placement allows students an opportunity to learn from experience through supervised work practice. Allied to experiential learning in this way is the opportunity for students to engage in reflective practice. The process of reflective practice establishes the foundation for observation, which is an essential element in meeting the developmental needs of children. This in turn facilitates curriculum planning, assessment, conducting research and analysing the results.