Course Details

Delivered through blended learning, this course in Montessori Teaching and Early Childhood Care & Education, will give you the qualification that will allow you to open your own setting or work in the capacity of a room leader/supervisor/manager in a Montessori room.

Start Date
Start Anytime
QQI Level 6
Portobello Institute
Course Duration
12 months


Are you interested in becoming a Montessori teacher or opening your own Montessori setting?  Portobello Institute’s QQI Level 6 Major Award in Early Years Care and Education with Montessori Teaching is an International qualification that will allow you to open your own setting or work in the capacity of a room leader/supervisor/manager in a Montessori room.

During this 7-month course, you will acquire a thorough knowledge of child development, comparative early year’s methodologies and how to create a positive learning environment for children.

This course delivers the Montessori Teaching modules part-time and the early years modules through blended learning online study.

The Montessori modules are delivered through part-time study over a 7-month period and focus on the minor awards that deliver learning in the Montessori method and pedagogy.

Classes are generally held one evening per week and are split between the practical Montessori approach and theory training, with time spent learning the theory and practising the Montessori presentation skills during each session.

You will complete a placement in a Montessori setting enabling you to get practical experience to complement your studies.

There is an easy payment plan designed to make this programme affordable. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

Why should I study this course?

Portobello Institute’s Major Award in Early Years Care and Education with Montessori Teaching gives you the opportunity to learn from a range of experts all of whom are passionate about the Montessori method.

They bring their insight, depth of experience and passion for teaching to this course. Portobello Institute’s Montessori Teaching course will change the way you view the process by which a child learns and their inherent ability to concentrate and grasp a complex subject when given the time and freedom to do so.

This qualification will allow you to open your own setting or work as a room leader in a Montessori room as well as allowing you to work across the board in the general childcare setting (ECCE).

"Within the child lies the faith of the future. The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim to prepare him for school, but for Life."

- Dr. Maria Montessori

Who will recognise my qualification?

Upon completing this course, you will hold a QQI Level 6 Major Award in Early Years Care and Education with Montessori teaching.

This programme is recognised as carrying a total of 120 credits on the Irish NFQ, (National Framework of Qualifications).

Integrated into this programme, are the principles set down by Siolta the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Aistear: the Framework for Early Learning.

Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed on the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.

What will I study during this ECCE with Montessori Teaching course?

During this course, you will learn about development and learning in children, from birth to six years old in a socio-cultural context and the implications of this for practice in early childhood settings.

You will learn about child development theories and how a range of activities can promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual development in children.

You will develop the capacity to work and communicate effectively with parents, families, colleagues and other professionals to safeguard, support and promote children’s learning, development and well-being.

Part 1 includes the following  Montessori Modules;

  • Early Learning Environment
  • Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy
  • Early Childhood Arts and Culture
  • Work Experience

Part 2 includes the modules listed below, studied by blended learning to achieve the Early Years Care & Education major award.

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Childhood Social, Legal and Health Issues
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Early Learning Environment

    Children work for the joy of the process rather than for the end result. They have a need to repeat activities over and over until an inner need is fulfilled. You will learn and come to understand the history of Maria Montessori and her philosophy and reasoning behind “Learning By Doing”. This module includes practical life skills and sensorial education. The module teaches you how to use the Montessori materials in life skills and sensorial education to encourage children to learn how to care for themselves, others and their environment. These skills help the child to gain the greatest confidence and independence through the early learning process. The sensorial equipment designed by Maria Montessori lays the foundations for academic learning by developing and refining a child’s senses. This in turn enhances their perceptions and increases their concentration.

    Your Lecturer

    Arlene Finnerty

    I feel that the module explores the Montessori pedagogy and how it elevates and empowers the child. The module introduces the student to the Montessori method & demonstrates how children develop skills.

  • Early Childhood Literacy & Numeracy

    Maria Montessori believed children have naturally mathematical minds and she revolutionised the manner in which maths were taught and this module is dedicated to Montessori Maths and Montessori Language acquisition. These areas will teach you how to guide a child through the complexities of reading and writing using the Montessori didactic materials designed over a hundred years ago. The Montessori materials were designed to develop children’s language grammar skills both written and spoken using the Montessori approach. The maths didactic materials revolutionised the manner in which maths is taught to children. Problem solving becomes a challenge that is enjoyed without stress or strain at a young age. You will learn through using a variety of Montessori materials how to not only teach a child to calculate but also to give them a lifelong understanding of how numbers function. Montessori materials also contain an inbuilt control of error that allows the child to discover and correct his or her own mistakes and work independently from his class mates and teachers alike.

    Your Lecturer

    Arlene Finnerty

    This module explores how valuable early literacy & numeracy is for children to make sense of their world. It gives students the techniques to introduce literacy & numeracy at a young age.

  • Early Childhood Arts and Culture

    Children have an inborn curiosity about the trees and the plants, animals and insects, their bodies, the planets etc. and this module focuses on two key areas of the Montessori pedagogy, Arts and Culture.  Montessori children frequently astonish adults with their in-depth knowledge of subjects such as biology, geography, simple science and history. During this module, you will be introduced to the Montessori didactic materials and activities that will allow you to guide children to an appreciation of the world they live in.

    Your Lecturer

    Arlene Finnerty

    This module explores Montessori’s pedagogy & how she believed the arts to be a communicative tool. It opens the discussion of how arts and culture offer diverse cultural experiences for young children.

  • Work Experience (Montessori)

    As the philosophy of Montessori was “Learning by Doing” then it is only natural that work experience in an approved Montessori school, under the guidance of a qualified and experienced Montessori directress, be an integral part of your learning journey. During the placement programme of 50 hours, you will have the opportunity to put into practice the exercises and skills you will have learned during the programme. You will have the opportunity by using these skills to stimulate, develop and guide the children under your direction to develop to their full potential. Our tutors and programme management team are available to help you secure a suitable work placement during your studies. Reflective learning nature of this the programme makes up 20% of every module. The assessment strategy for the programme allows the learner to reflect on all aspects of their academic and practical learning journey.

  • Child Development

    This module explores the child’s social, educational and physical development and how to provide a nurturing environment for the child to develop in. You will develop the skills required to influence and promote the use of observations in an early childhood care and education setting.

    Your Lecturer

    Natasha Murphy

    Students gain knowledge and understanding of child development theories and learn to apply them in a practical way. Skills of observation, evaluation and reflection are explored and the importance of using information as a basis for planning curricular activities suitable to the child’s interests, needs and level of development.

  • Early Childhood Curriculum

    This module aims to provide you with knowledge to understand the pedagogical approaches and national guidelines that guide an early childhood care and education setting. You will learn about facilitating the provision of quality experiences for children in an early childhood care and education setting. You will develop an awareness of the importance of the physical surroundings, the curricula, materials and significant people within an early childhood care and education setting and their impact on how comfortable the child is and how the child relates to others and achieves their goals.

    Your Lecturer

    Natasha Murphy

    Students get the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations as they learn to plan a suitable, interesting, fun and stimulating curriculum. They gain an understanding that curriculum is more than just planning. Knowledge of Aistear the early year's curriculum framework and Síolta, the quality framework for early childhood, alongside current theories of the curriculum is gained.

  • Childhood social, Legal & Health Issues
  • Personal & Professional Development

    This module explores the principles and practice of personal development and the role reflection plays in the ongoing development of the individual and the contribution of the individual to the workplace.

    You will examine the role planning plays in the development and success of an organisations short, medium and long term objectives and the interrelationships of staff and the role staff play within an organisation.

    Your Lecturer

    Natasha Murphy

    This module allows the student to assess their personal and professional strengths and areas for development and plan accordingly. This allows the student to become self-aware, to be more motivated, with the ability to manage their time and procrastinate less. This in turn relieves stress.
    Students also learn how to arrange, lead and manage meetings e.g. writing an agenda, meeting etiquette, recording minutes and supporting and following through on decision-making.
    The students gain the skills and knowledge to complete a presentation, from topic choice to rationale to presentation with visual aids to self-evaluation.

    This module provides the student will a tool for planning and improvement personally and professionally.

Who will I learn from?

Programme Manager

Olivia Hamill

“Working as a PM for EY & SNA means working in an ever-changing industry, as investment in the childcare industry in Ireland has been to the forefront in recent years.  This investment is not unlike the investment made by students- as they invest in their future through their educational journey. Being involved in their journey is fulfilling as you watch them flourish over time and support them in achieving their goals”


While my initial third level education was in Business Management my career path took a turn when I became involved in fostering. The more research (for homelife benefits) I conducted in the areas of children with additional needs, child development, play activities etc., I realised that this was an area I had a keen interest in. From here I went onto firstly study a Level 5 in ECCE, to have the basis for further study within the area. Then I completed a H-DIP in ECEC which led me onto a Level 9 MA in Child, Youth and Family studies.  I studied part time while working full time, and this has helped me immensely in understanding students journey on similar paths- it can be a  struggle trying to balance working, reaching assignment deadlines, attending classes, along with daily home (and social!) life, but once you achieve your end goal it is worth it. Having also worked in various rooms in childcare settings, this added to my experience, skills, knowledge, and abilities. Working in the sector assisted me greatly (before I took up the role as Programme Manager) while I was tutoring with Portobello as I was able to impart knowledge and experience to students.

Why did you choose to work in education?

Having gone back to study myself many years after my initial education, my own experience contributes to understanding individual students needs and abilities. Everybody learns differently and it is beneficial in the educational industry to have an understanding that some people may be visual learners, while others may be kinaesthetic or auditory learners while some may learn through reading and writing. Match this understanding with various modes of course delivery, tutors who are passionate about their subject areas, are inclusive to all types of learners and this can only lead to a successful outcome for students.

Collaborating with and listening to students is also an important aspect within the education industry, we all have knowledge to offer and learn from each other, having had this experience myself while studying, this was always something I encouraged while tutoring. Facilitating students to share knowledge and experience while motivating and supporting them through their learning journey is all part of the role as an educator. These roles also become part of your role as a PM, you want to see everyone achieving their goal and you are there to help, guide, advise, support, motivate and encourage them throughout their time spent with the college.

Your experience as a Programme Manager.

Before a student embarks on their learning journey, Portobello takes the time to explore which mode of delivery suits an individual’s needs, abilities, and time available to study. While working as a PM with Portobello I have come across many inspirational students, some who have not studied in many years, some who have had learning difficulties, others may be changing industry entirely, while some just simply want more knowledge as a parent to help them in understanding their children’s needs. As a PM contributing to all student’s journey through listening, supporting, motivating, and encouraging them throughout their education is an important aspect and it is inspirational to see students achieving their goal.

Why Portobello?

Working with Portobello allows you to get to know students, which allows students to feel valued and everyone in the Institute is committed to supporting students on their learning journey. Portobello offers flexibility in course delivery, this is something which can be a deciding factor on choosing a course, students consider what fits their lifestyle and free time available to study. By offering blended, part time, full time, online or distance courses, this gives Portobello the ability to offer courses to suit a range of students needs.


  • MA in Child, Youth & Family Studies
  • H-Dip in Early Childhood Education & Care
  • QQI Level 5 in Early Childhood Care & Education
  • BBS Honours Degree in Business Management





Personal Academic Tutor

Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey.

They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.

Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion.

Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.

This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.

Success Story

“The online classes were on Saturday and were amazing, very educative, informative, and dynamic. The practical Montessori classes in the Institute are scheduled in advance and they are brilliant"

Geovana Sasso
ECCE with Montessori Teaching ECCE with Montessori Teaching

How will I learn?

Course Structure

Portobello Institute’s Montessori Teaching with ECCE course is delivered by blended learning throughout the year.

The ECCE modules are delivered online with webinars. Course materials are structured to be accessed on a week by week basis and are available to download from our e-learning platform as you progress through the course. Assignments are all designed for completion at home and once completed, you will upload these to the e-learning platform.

Feedback and results are posted here for you to access too.

Whilst learning the Montessori method and pedagogy, you will focus on the core principles of learning through a mix of video, webinars and practical hands-on workshops.

Classes are split between the practical Montessori approach and theory training, with time spent throughout your learning journey gaining the theoretical knowledge and practising the Montessori presentation skills.

Time is also spent researching and developing your knowledge of the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the child aged 0-6 years.

There is the opportunity for you to consider other types of early years provision including state, private, voluntary and institutional.

What is a Webinar?

A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students.

We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room.

You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class. The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class.

You will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that has an internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you.

The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”.

Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access the Webinars of the group you are assigned to.

Montessori Practical Workshops

Montessori practical workshops are held on one Saturday each month. Simply contact your support tutor and she will book a time slot for you to come into the Institute to gain practical hands-on experience with the materials under the supervision of one of our experienced Montessori tutors.

Date Webinars Practical Workshops
11th Feb 2022    
18th Feb 2022 Q&A Webinar 10am-1pm 

(Work Experience)

4th March 2022 Introduction to Montessori Webinar 10am-1pm  
11th March 2022   9.30am-4.30pm 

Book Slots for Attendance 

ELE Workshop

1st April 2023 Q&A Webinar 10am-1pm 

(L & N)

15th April 2023   9.30am-4.30pm 

Book Slots for Attendance 

L & N Workshop

10th June 2023 Q&A Webinar 10am-1pm 

(A & C)

1st July 2023   9.30am-4.30pm 

Book Slots for Attendance 

Culture Workshop

ECCE 6 - Webinars
18th February 2023 Special Needs Assisting

Assignment Due: 18th March 2023

4th March 2023 Social, Legal & Health

Assignment Due: 15th April 2023

25th March 2023 Early Childhood Curriculum

Assignment Due: 6th May 2023

22nd April 2023 Work Experience & Communications

Communication Assignment Due: 27th May 2023

Work Experience Assignment Due: 24th June 2023

20th May 2023 Child Development

Assignment Due: 24th June 2023

Child Development Exam:

8th July 2023 10am-12pm

1st July 2023 Child Psychology

Assignment Due: 29th July 2023

15th July 2023 Personal & Professional Development

Assignment Due: 26th August 2023

5th of August 2023 Special Needs Assisting

Assignment Due: 9th September 2023

23rd September 2023 Social Legal and Health

Assignment Due: 21st October 2023

These dates are subject to change


Real Life Learning Opportunities

Work Experience

As the philosophy of Montessori was “Learning by Doing” then it is only natural that work experience in an approved Montessori school, under the guidance of a qualified and experienced Montessori directress, be an integral part of your learning journey.

You will be required to complete practical hours consisting of 50 hours for the Montessori modules and 20 hours for the ECCE modules.

Insurance cover is provided with written verification given to the placement. Placement hours can be completed ad hoc ie a couple of hours here and there or in one block.

If you are working in an early years setting or with children in another capacity, you may be able to use this time towards your practical hours requirement for the ECCE modules. All practical hours are completed at a time convenient to you.

During the placement programme, you will have the opportunity to put into practice the exercises and skills you will have learned during the programme.

You will have the opportunity by using these skills to stimulate, develop and guide the children under your direction to develop to their full potential. We aim to ensure you have the opportunity to gain experience in a setting that is aligned with your career ambitions.

Our tutors and programme management team will help you secure a suitable work placement during your studies and this placement can be in your locality to reduce travel and time spent in Dublin.

The practical work experience element of this programme may be completed once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

How will I be assessed?

A variety of assessment methods are used to support students with different learning styles. These vary from written reports to practical case studies to examinations.

We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey.

All of these assessment methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your everyday practice.

Career prospects

What is Montessori Teaching?

The Montessori Method is an approach to pre-school education which understands that children are dynamic, natural learners.

Maria Montessori believed children gain knowledge best from the “Learning by Doing” theory as opposed to the conventional sit, listen, read and then learn.

“Learning by Doing” is, in essence, the philosophy a Montessori teacher follows when guiding a child’s development in the Montessori school.

The Montessori approach to education requires that children are free to follow their own interests when placed in a well-planned and structured environment that meets their individual educational and cultural needs. Above all, Montessori classrooms nurture each child’s individual strengths and interests while encouraging children to explore the world around them.

Related Courses

Blended Learning

Montessori Teaching – Start Anytime

This blended learning course combines online learning with practical workshops with the Montessori materials, giving you the opportunity to study at your time, to be a Montessori practitioner and open your own Montessori school.

Portobello Institute
Start Date
Start Anytime

Speak to an expert

Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice.

Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.

It is important you make the right choice for yourself and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.

Your Consultant

Jennifer Matteazzi

About Jenny

My name is Jennifer Matteazzi and I am the Enrolment Team Leader.  An investment in knowledge pays the best interest and I am part of the team who helps learners achieve their education goals.


How long are you working in Portobello?

I have been working for Portobello Institute for over 5 years now.

What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?

I love the interaction with students.  Every day I get to meet different individuals and learners who are looking to change their lives and I get to be the person who advises them on the best programme to take. It is a fantastic feeling to be part of their journey.  For many learners this is a huge decision and I get to be the person who supports them in making that decision.  There is an incredible sense of pride when I see our learners graduate and achieve their education goals.

What inspires you about working in education?

I believe that education is impowering and it can often change people’s lives.  It increases the learner’s confidence and it allows the learner to reach their full potential. Coming back to education hugely lifts the learner’s self esteem.

Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?

One particular lady struggled with dyslexia all her life.  Her disability really affected her years in school, her career choices and when this learner approached Portobello Institute I worked with her to establish the best way forward, the right course for her was without a doubt in childcare.  This lady registered on the course and she needed a lot of hand holding throughout her studies from both myself and the academic team.  I recall that the day of her graduation, she received the “Student of Year” award.  We were all thrilled and delighted for her!  This learner has since gone on to open a very successful Montessori setting.

How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?

I am there to be the deciding factor for our learners.  We support people in making the right choice of programme for them.  We reassure them the whole way and we support them throughout.  It is a very rewarding feeling to be part of this process.

Book a consultation

How do I apply?

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.


Without a Leaving Certificate

Learners should hold a minimum of Level 5 in Early Childhood Education. To access programmes leading to this award the learner should have reached the standards of knowledge, skill and competence associated with the preceding level of the National Framework of Qualifications. This may have been achieved through a formal qualification or through relevant life and work experience.

Application Process

Step 1

Complete the online booking form.

Step 2

Applicants will be contacted for confirmation of personal details and entry criteria.

Step 3

Confirmation of a place will be given to applicants following successful application.

Fees & Payment Options


Course Price

Per academic year.


Additional Fees

Protection for learners fees is due on or before the start date.

Protection for learners fee


Full Payment

Total amount payable.


Easy Payment Plan

Deposit of 30% upon booking. Balance paid in 5 instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course starts. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees etc. are included in the easy payment plan.

Deposit + 5 Instalments

Deposit payment (€597.00), followed by 5 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €195.00.

  • €278.60 due on 1st March 2023.
  • €278.60 due on 1st April 2023.
  • €278.60 due on 1st May 2023.
  • €278.60 due on 1st June 2023.
  • €278.60 due on 1st July 2023.