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Work Practice & Experience in Childcare

A comprehensive guide to work experience and work placement in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) sector in Ireland for NFQ Levels 5 and 6.

  • Presents an overview of the childcare sector, identifying skills needs,key challenges and opportunities.

  • Discusses various challenges encountered in the childcare setting, such as conflict among children, issues with parents or childcare workers, and constructive criticism, in relation to quality management and the principles of Síolta.

  • Presents an overview of Aistear and includes a sample Aistear observation with a completed sample learner record.

  • Details Schon’s reflection theory and the importance of reflection during work experience and as a practice for all future work scenarios.

  • Summarises the basic rights and responsibilities of employees and employers in a childcare setting, including the Child Care Act 1991 and Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No. 2) Regulations 2006.

  • Demonstrates how to conduct a personal and vocational skills audit, identifying personal strengths and weaknesses when working in a childcare setting.

  • Illustrates how general talents and skills, such as gardening, crafts, reading and music, can be utilised effectively in an ECCE setting.

  • Details how to write a CV and letter of application,andexploreschildcare job-finding strategies as well as options for further education and training.


Written For

Childcare students studying:

  • Work Experience [5N1346] and Work Practice [5N1433]
  • Work Experience [6N1946] and Work Practice [6N1947]

Resources for Lecturers

  • PowerPoint slides for all chapters

  • Additional observations (learner records)

  • Article on Personal Statements

Out of print



Publication Date

April 2014




Paperback, 192 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Education


245 x 172 mm


By Martina Coombes and Joanne Russell

Availability Status

Out of print

Martina Coombes, MA, taught Childcare Levels 5 and 6 for 12 years, and now lectures in Early Childhood Education at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. Martina has worked in residential childcare and served as a board member of detention schools in Ireland for eight years.

Joanne Russell, MSc, PGDip, BSc, works as a VTOS and IT coordinator, and an IT and Business tutor (Levels 5 and 6) for Dublin Dún Laoghaire Educational and Training Board (DDLETB), for which she has also written and evaluated component modules.

Additional Resources

Out of print
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