Corine Peters – Outstanding Achievement Award While Balancing Work, Family and Studying

BA (Ord) Early Childhood Care & Education and BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Early Years

Corine Peters gained her BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Care & Education and BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies at Portobello Institute, following her passion to fulfil her potential in the career she loves.

Corine is devoted to contributing to the growth and development of children in a nurturing and educational environment.

Before deciding to study at Portobello Institute, she had a varied background with plenty of interesting life experiences.

Before enrolling at Portobello Institute, my career path was in childcare. In 2011, we relocated to Ireland after over a decade of living in various Asian countries with my family. Before the move, I worked for a year in a bilingual school in Vietnam, and prior to that, I supported my family in different countries.

“During this time of relocation, I was not working, as my primary focus was supporting my husband and my children in adapting to new schools, making friends, and navigating all aspects of life in the various countries we lived in.

“Upon settling in Ireland, I transitioned to a childcare role, starting with a position in a creche,” she said. 

From increasing her job opportunities to personal growth, Corine explains why gaining these qualifications was the right step for her future.

Studying was the right thing to do because it laid the foundation for my professional and personal growth.

“My primary motivation was to expand my knowledge and enhance my qualifications in early childhood care and education.

“This pursuit wasn’t solely driven by the desire to benefit the children under my care and their families, but also to open doors to a wider array of job opportunities.

“Studying became the gateway to unlocking new possibilities and refining my skills.

“Recognising the intrinsic value of continuous learning, I aimed not only to deepen my understanding of best practices but also to acquire a skill set that would make me a more versatile and effective professional in my field.

“Moreover, seeking recognition for my expertise, boosting personal self-esteem, and setting a challenging yet fulfilling goal for myself were crucial aspects of this decision.

“As the educational journey unfolded, it not only enriched my professional capabilities but also contributed significantly to my personal growth.

“The experience went beyond a mere academic endeavour; it became a holistic investment in my career, personal well-being, and the quality of care I could provide.

“Through this process, I found not only new opportunities but a profound sense of accomplishment and purpose, fueling my ongoing commitment to lifelong learning,” she said. 

This enriching experience on her educational pathway has allowed Corine to follow her passion more than ever before.

In the past, she chose practicality over her passion, but she never let go of her dream to fulfil her potential in her true calling.

I unequivocally followed my passion by pursuing a course in early childhood education. My passion for working with young children dates back to my childhood; at the tender age of eight, I knew that becoming an early years practitioner was my calling.

“Despite this, circumstances led me to pursue practical college courses aimed at acquiring sewing and cooking skills. Undeterred, I found ways to stay connected to my passion, thoroughly enjoying babysitting roles.

“My journey took a pivotal turn when I became an au pair in London, transitioning into a nanny role. It was during this time that my formal education in early childhood development began, and I enrolled at the London Montessori Centre.

“This educational experience not only solidified my commitment to the field but also equipped me with valuable insights and skills crucial for fostering the growth and development of young minds.

“Today, as a practitioner, I draw upon both my lifelong passion and formal training to create meaningful and enriching experiences for the children under my care.

“Every day, I eagerly anticipate going to work, not just as a caretaker but as a partner in their learning journey, fostering an environment where curiosity is nurtured, and a love for learning is cultivated,” she said. 

Reflecting on her time at Portobello Institute, Corine believes the learning environment and delivery methods allowed her to achieve her best.

This course at Portobello Institute was undeniably the right fit for me. As a mature student seeking to advance my career in early childhood education, the program’s comprehensive curriculum and flexible structure catered perfectly to my needs.

“The emphasis on practical skills and real-world application, coupled with the one-to-one mentorship during my BA (Hons), ensured a holistic and tailored learning experience.

“The online platform allowed me to balance my studies with a demanding work schedule and family commitments. The diverse range of tutors with various skill sets further enriched my learning, providing valuable insights.

“Additionally, the supportive environment at Portobello, coupled with their commitment to student success, fostered a sense of community that enhanced my overall educational journey.

“In retrospect, choosing this course was instrumental in equipping me with the knowledge and skills necessary for professional growth in the field of early childhood education. 

I chose Portobello Institute over other providers because their offered courses aligned seamlessly with my timetable, striking a balance between flexibility and structure.

“The competitive pricing and the optimal duration of the course were additional factors that made Portobello stand out. This combination of convenience, affordability, and a well-structured curriculum made it the ideal choice for my educational pursuits.,” she said.

Corine was working full-time when she enrolled in her BA (Ord) Early Childhood Care & Education degree. With the help of blended learning at Portobello Institute, she managed her work, family life and studies at the same time.

“The most impactful aspect of studying at Portobello Institute was the flexibility and personalised support provided through the online platform.

“Engaging in my level 7 BA (Ord) program online exposed me to a diverse array of tutors, each bringing unique skill sets and perspectives.

“This not only broadened my understanding but also enriched the learning experience with multifaceted insights.

“The asynchronous nature of online learning allowed me to tailor my study schedule to fit around a demanding 46-hour workweek and familial commitments, fostering a balance that was crucial for success.

“When progressing to my BA (Hons), the one-to-one mentorship offered by my tutor became the standout feature. This personalised guidance alleviated many of my uncertainties and doubts, especially regarding my capabilities.

“The mentorship not only addressed academic concerns but also provided invaluable support in navigating the challenges inherent in higher-level studies. It was this individualised attention that fueled my confidence and contributed significantly to my overall positive experience at Portobello Institute,” she said.

Corine says she would highly recommend Portobello Institute to a friend, or anyone looking to upskill and develop their careers.

I would recommend Portobello Institute to anyone seeking to expand their knowledge and upskill. The diverse range of programs, coupled with the flexibility of online learning, makes it an accessible and accommodating choice for individuals with varied schedules and commitments.

“The positive experience I had, particularly in the one-to-one mentorship during my BA (Hons), assures me that Portobello is not just an educational institution but a supportive community invested in the success and growth of its students,” she said. 

At the Portobello Institute graduation ceremony at Croke Park in November 2023, Corine was presented with an Outstanding Achievement award for her excellent academic accomplishments during her studies.

Upon reflection, I am filled with a sense of both astonishment and pride when considering my studies and achievements post-graduation.

“Overcoming doubts that lingered from my early years, I’ve successfully navigated challenges and achieved milestones that once seemed insurmountable.

“The recent acknowledgement of an outstanding achievement award has left me genuinely surprised. I am ecstatic, over the moon, and still in disbelief about the recognition.

“When I initially joined the course, my expectations were modest, merely hoping for a passing grade, and that would have sufficed.

“However, the journey has far exceeded these expectations, instilling a deep sense of accomplishment and confidence in my abilities, and reinforcing my belief that with determination and perseverance, everything is possible.

“Graduating has become a testament to my growth and resilience throughout this educational endeavour, solidifying my conviction in the transformative power of dedicated learning,” she said. 

Corine continues to be a shining light for those who may be lacking confidence when starting on their educational journey. She is a true success story of what you can achieve with the right mindset, determination, hard work and support.

Currently working as a Room Leader in a privately owned creche, Corine knows that with her honours degree, the doors are now open for her to progress her career if she wishes.

The potential for career changes or progression may unfold in the future. While my current role brings me immense satisfaction and joy, I remain open to new opportunities and challenges that may arise down the line.

“The completion of my studies has equipped me with additional skills and knowledge that could pave the way for future growth and advancements in my career.

“I look forward to embracing whatever opportunities may come my way, always motivated by a commitment to continuous learning and personal development. 

I am presently doing what I wanted to do for so long. While my qualifications may not have an immediate impact, I am confident they will play a significant role in future career advancement.

“The knowledge and skills acquired during my studies have broadened my understanding of early childhood education, forming a robust foundation.

“Combining this academic background with extensive practical experience gained on the job, I am building a comprehensive skill set.

“This dual foundation positions me well for potential career growth. I am optimistic that my dedication to continuous learning will synergise with both my qualifications and practical expertise, opening new opportunities and advancements in my chosen field.,” she said. 

As she looks towards a bright future, Corine reflects on everything she has learned and how she has grown.

As I reflect on my educational journey and current career path, I want to emphasise the profound impact that continuous learning has had on my personal and professional growth.

“The decision to pursue further education at Portobello Institute has not only equipped me with valuable knowledge and skills but has also instilled in me a deeper sense of confidence and resilience.

“It was not easy, but as the saying goes, “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”

“I am grateful for the supportive learning environment and the opportunities for both academic and practical development.

“Knowing that this is not the end, I am excited about the potential for future growth, and I remain committed to embracing new challenges and learning experiences in the dynamic field of early childhood education,” she said. 

If Corine’s story has inspired you, you can reach out to our early years academic advisor Sarah Coyne today, book a 15-minute consultation call, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0028 to start your educational journey with Portobello Institute.

Portobello Institute’s Early Years department has qualifications ranging from level 5 to level 9. We offer:

Other courses you may be interested in include:

Visit our Early Years & Montessori department for more.

Corine Peters – Outstanding Achievement Award While Balancing Work, Family and Studying Corine Peters – Outstanding Achievement Award While Balancing Work, Family and Studying