Childcare Course Options

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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If you want to be the next Mary Poppins, or just find out what makes your kid tick, then perhaps you should consider a course in childcare. There are a huge number of courses on offer – you can find out where your teenager has hidden his stash or learn to cope with a gang of terrible two-year olds.

A short general course in childcare should teach you the techniques that will help you look after children with confidence. You might consider such a course if you are about to become a parent or just want to know more about the development and care of children. It’s handy to know things like how often to feed and water them and how long they can be left in the sun without wilting. Such courses should also deal with subjects such as the general care of the baby and the young child, parenthood, child development and safety and first aid.

You can learn more about your teenager and yourself by attending a course that tells you exactly why you are, like, so embarrassing. Talk with other parents and pick up new tips on fresh humiliations to try out on your own Daria or Kevin.

A course in childminding can help you to gain employment in cr che or a nursery. The National Childminding Association of Ireland awards registered childminder certificates and you can undertake the course at various institutions around the country. The course deals with understanding children, arts and crafts, language acquisition, early childhood behaviour and nutrition and health. It also deals with the more cerebral psychology of childhood but gets down to business with modules on the law and day-care provision. The certificate can also help you get work as an au pair, as families have become wary of welcoming unqualified young things into their homes after the Louise Woodward debacle.

If you decide that you want to mould young minds, then a diploma in Montessori teaching might be for you. Maria Montessori’s teaching method is an approach to education that emphasises the potential of the young child. It attempts to develop this potential by means of a prepared environment, using specially trained teachers and materials. The children you teach will usually be from 0-6 years of age.

Rather than forcing the children to learn by rote, the child is guided to explore first and learn through their own will and the examples set by the teacher. The curriculum comprises of several areas; practical life exercises, environment and cultural awareness, art and music, movement sensorial education, language and mathematics.

It goes without saying that someone who works in the childcare area should like kids. If holding your nephew for two minutes makes you feel like dropkicking him through the French windows, then perhaps it’s not the career for you. You should have an immunity to drool and all manner of projectile emissions and be able to laugh with equanimity when little Tarquin gets all Edward Hoover with your wardrobe.

Tact is an important quality in a childcare worker. Parents often believe that their child is the second coming, so you’ll need to be able to diplomatically inform them that their kid burying a little friend neck-deep in the garden is not another fine example of creative play. You will also need a lot of energy to ensure that children in your care don’t come to harm and that you still have sufficient motivation to tell them that Bob the Builder story for the 42nd time.

Frank Bolger

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