Early Childhood Education, Care & Development


The in-service certificate programme targets those of you who are early childhood coordinators and/or trained and untrained practitioners in the nursery and infant settings of schools. The programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed,for you to foster high quality, positive learning, care and development of and for young children.  In-class engagement merges theory with a hands-on approach to learning. As you undertake the course, you will develop knowledge about the major theoretical perspectives of the cognitive, emotional and social development of children from ages three to eight. As a part of the programme, you will also learn about child growth and development, the important role of play in the early years, technology and the learning environment, curriculum integration and planning and the observation and assessment of young children. You will spend time in early childhood settings observing the learning environment and interactions, and will be required to complete a teaching practicum of five (5) weeks duration. It is our hope for you, that you will find the programme valuable and rewarding as you continue your work in this vital sector in the lives of your young charges.



Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 pm- 7:30 pm at Erdiston Teachers’ Training College for ten(10) weeks, six (6) weeks in term one and four (4) weeks in the second term of school. You will also be required to attend three (3) sessions of an Easter Vacation workshop and to visit an assigned school to observe the early childhood setting and interactions.

A teaching practicum will take place in the second term and will be of five (5) weeks duration.You will be observed teaching at least five (5) lessons, at least one (1) in the four (4) core areas. Two of the observed lessons will be developmental whilst three will be graded.


General Objectives:

Having completed this important course of study, as an early childhood educator, you will be more confident and comfortable as you:

  1. Examine the theoretical underpinnings of early childhood education to understand how children grow and develop.
  2. Apply theory to your daily practice in the early childhood setting, making it even more developmentally appropriate.
  3. Foster positive relationships with parents, families and the community to assist with the care and development of their young children.
  4. Exhibit teacher professionalism, best practices, and the knowledge and skills necessary for quality care and development of young children.
  5. Use Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) in the care and development of young children.

Specific Objectives:

Throughout your period of engagement in this course, you will develop knowledge, skills and attitudes which are necessary for you to:

  1. Examine the historical and present context of early childhood care and development to create a personal philosophy and vision for your practice.
  2. Identify and discuss the underpinnings of early childhood education.
  3. Analyse the developmental theories put forward by select philosophers and be able to describe how they may be applied in the early childhood classroom.
  4. Generate ideas on how to meaningfully involve parents, families and the community in the education of young children.
  5. Utilise your creative space to plan and execute developmentally appropriate curriculum activities which would facilitate the holistic development of young children, as they transition from one level to another.
  6. Select appropriately, and implement strategies which engage young students in child-centred learning.
  7. Integrate technologies in the teaching of young children and facilitate the use of technology by young children in the classroom setting.
  8. Develop an awareness of a variety of appropriate modes of assessment and specify their importance re recognising exceptionalities and planning interventions for improving the performance of children.
  9. Assess the effectiveness of, and use strategies to guide positive attitudes and behaviours in children
  10. Produce culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate teaching/learning aids and materials for young children.
  11. Design and set up learning centres.
  12. Distinguish and use best practices in early childhood education.
  13. Present written accounts of reflections, observed behaviours and experiences.
  14. Create individual portfolios of teaching activities and complete other forms of assessment as specified by the programme.


Your participation, sharing of ideas and the expression of your views and opinions will be highly valued in this course. You will therefore be engaged in:

  • Self-directed learning; Research, inquiry and questioning
  • The Socratic Method of learning
  • In-class presentations using various technologies
  • Lecture/Discussion
  • Individual and small group activities
  • Cooperative learning of various kinds
  • Scenarios and Vignettes
  • Case-based learning
  • Demonstrations
  • Displays
  • Visitations


Assessment will be completed on an accumulation of scores in each of the following areas:

  1. ATTENDANCE: You MUST attend 80 % of the course sessions to qualify for the certificate. Attendance is worth 5% of your final mark. In class participation is worth another 5% of the final mark.
  2. TEACHING PRACTICUM:You will be observed in your own school environment during at least five (5) different lessons. Two (2) of the lessons will be assessed for developmental feedback and three (3) will be graded for final assessment. This component is worth 30% of your final course mark.
  3. PORTFOLIO OF TEACHING: All other specified elements of the teaching portfolio, except those mentioned as (d) and (e) below are worth a combined total of 40 % of your final course mark.
  4. OBSERVATIONAL REPORT: An observational report based on the school visited is to be included in your teaching portfolio. The report is worth 5 % of the final mark.
  5. REFELECTIONS AND EVIDENCE OF RESOURCE MATERIALS MADE: You are to include reflections on the Easter Vacation Workshop attended and evidence of materials made during the workshop, in the teaching portfolio. This component is worth 5% of your final mark.
  6. SELF ASSESSMENT FOR THE TEACHING PRACTICUM (5%) AND PEER ASSESSMENT FOR SCHOOL VISITS (5%): You will be given the opportunity to reflect on  your teaching and assess your performance during the teaching practicum. Also you will be given the opportunity to assess your peer(s) on their contribution to the observational report based on the school visit.


Gordon Biddle, K., Garcia N., Ana G., Roundtree H., Wanda J. &  Valero-Kerrick, A. (2013). Early childhood education: Becoming a professional.  California: Sage Publishing Inc.

Essa, Eva L. (2011). Introduction to early childhood education. New York: Delmar.

Henniger, Michael L. (2008). Teaching young children: An introduction.(4th ED).New Jersey; Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Internet sources