Early Childhood Care, Education & Montessori

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.


Courses next start in September. Applications open in January.

Applications are now open, and free. CAO points not required. Grant and Social Welfare funding available. To apply online now for September 2017/18 you will just need to provide two essential pieces of information: your email address and your PPS number. Look for this course under Childcare.

Contact us at childhoodcare@mallowcollege.ie for help and more information.

Career Prospects

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

Course Contents

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


One year. Full-time.


30 full-time day students will travel, fully-funded, with Erasmus+ in Techniczne Zakłady NaukoweDąbrowa Górnicza, Poland, for 2 weeks from the 12th of February 2018. Find out more and apply.

Entry Requirements

  • CAO points not required.
  • All applicants will be required to attend an interview. 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.


Advanced 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 mallowcollege.ie/progressions.

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


Contact Us

Email us at childhoodcare@mallowcollege.ie.