Childcare & Montessori Assistant

QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education – 5M2009.

The Montessori method is an established educational approach to childcare developed by Maria Montessori in 1929. You will foster a safe child-centred environment where children learn through self-directed play and hands-on creative exploration using natural stimulating materials.

Achieve the competence to work in a professional childcare team. Mentored by experienced childcare professionals, gain ongoing practical experience of childcare alongside the academic knowledge of Montessori theory and practice.

Work placement is an integral part of the course. Learn your craft as part of a working professional team. Experience different childcare settings. Find your own role in the childcare profession.

Start with a solid basis to progress to an advanced certificate in QQI at Mallow College or straight to degree level with UCC, CIT and elsewhere. Join our excellent graduate success rate and gain immediate employment in the growing childcare industry.

AwardQQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education – 5M2009.
FormatFull-time. September 2021 to May 2022.
LocationOnsite at Mallow Campus (online contingency in case of COVID regulations).
TimetableHours between Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 15:30.
RequirementsNo CAO required (Leaving Cert./LCA/equivalent for under 23s). Application review discussion.
StartingOrientation and classes starting the week of Monday the 20th of September 2021.
Fees€500 (SUSI/BTEA €300, Medical Card €250, VTOS €0).
ApplicationsApplications open. Places available. No deposit required to start your application.

Contact us at for help and more information.

Career Prospects

  • Childminder. +
  • Crèche assistant. +
  • Montessori assistant. +
  • Playschool assistant. +
  • Special needs assistant. +

Course Contents

  • Approaches to Early Childhood Education (5N1763) Level 5 QQI.
    • Philosophy and practice underpinning a specific approach to early childhood education, to include one of the following Montessori, Froebel, Steiner or Weikart. The emphasis will be on looking at the core concepts, curriculum and complete approach of the Montessori Method and how it relates to early childhood education today.
  • Child Development (5N1764) Level 5 QQI.
    • Introduction to the theory and practice of child development from 0-6 years. The component aims to promote good practice, equality of opportunity and respect for diversity in lifestyles, religion and culture in early years care.
  • Child Health and Well Being (5N1765) Level 5 QQI.
    • Provide for the health and well-being of children and maintain healthy, hygienic and safe practices and environments in a range of early childhood care and education settings.
  • Creative Arts for Early Childhood (5N1769) Level 5 QQI.
    • Ensure that each child’s learning , development and well –being is facilitated through the provision of creative opportunities.
  • Early Care and Education Practice (5N1770) Level 5 QQI.
  • Early Childhood Education and Play (5N1773) Level 5 QQI.
    • Ensure that each child’s learning, development and well being is facilitated through the provision of opportunities, experiences, activities, Interaction, materials and equipment, having regard to the age and stage of development of the child and the child’s cultural context.
  • Understanding Special Needs (5N1709) Level 5 QQI.
    • Background knowledge, skills and competence required to work effectively, under direction, in a special needs setting.
  • Communications (5N0690) Level 5 QQI.
    • Communicate verbally and non-verbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related tasks, operating independently while under general direction.
  • Work Experience (5N1356) Level 5 QQI.
    • Participate in the workplace for a limited time, carrying out work-related tasks independently while under general direction. Prepare yourself for industry, prepare your CV (and online LinkedIn profile), practice interview skills, and gain invaluable experience on your own work placement.

Courses are continually developed – content and specific award components are subject to change. See disclaimer.


One year. Full-time. Class timetables to follow in September, and subject to change. See calendar for term holidays.


30 full-time day students will travel, fully-funded, with Erasmus+ to another European country for 2 weeks. Find out more and apply.

Entry Requirements

  • CAO points not required.
  • All applicants will be required to attend an application review discussion. An offer of a place on this course is contingent on the applicant meeting the minimum entry requirements set out here, and satisfactory presentation at interview.
  • Leaving Certificate or equivalent. For mature applicants appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications.


Garda Vetting

This course requires participants to be Garda vetted. Continued participation on the course and work placement is dependent on the successful completion of this process.

Work Experience

Work experience is an integral part of this course. Students spend four days a week in College and one day a week on practical work placement. There are also block placements throughout the year. The dates and duration will be specified by the College in September.


Advance to QQI level 6 in Montessori at Mallow College. Use your full QQI award to progress to degrees in Early Childhood Education, Montessori Education, Social Care, Community Development, and Arts. For more links and detailed information on how to use your Mallow College qualification go to

A full QQI award achieves a maximum of 390 points for CAO.


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