Sinead Finn Grace – AIM Support Worker Following Her Passion for Early Childhood Care and Education
BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies
Early Years & Montessori
Sinead Finn Grace loves her job as an Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) Support at a Dublin preschool. She is passionate about engaging with young children socially and emotionally, helping them to fulfil their potential.
With over 10 years of experience working with children, Sinead decided to follow her passion and deepen her knowledge by gaining her BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies degree.
“In following my passion for education in the early years setting I feel I have gained so much more knowledge.
“I have enjoyed working alongside other practitioners and children for over 10 years now. In the early years sector, we can support and guide children’s holistic development.
“My passion is in engaging with children socially and emotionally. Guiding the children in understanding emotions and life situations all while shadowing their enjoyment of peer interactions and play.
“I feel I have been very lucky in being part of the important years of the children’s lives and by studying I feel I too have also gained more tools to enrich my setting.
“I feel I have gained so much knowledge to bring to my setting and support the children. I am excited to put all this knowledge into practice and see the children flourish.
“I am so proud of what I have accomplished, I was so nervous at the beginning, wondering if would I be able to manage the modules and assignments. The tutor’s reassurance and motivation to keep up the good work also kept me going,” she said.
Sinead reached a point where she wanted to gain more knowledge about the early years sector to apply in her role and studying for her level 7 degree was the perfect way to achieve that.
“I had always enjoyed working and facilitating children so the path to childcare and early childhood studies came easily. Prior to starting my degree course at Portobello Institute, I had completed my Level 6 in Childcare and also Level 6 Therapeutic Play Skills course. I was enjoying the class environment but was eager to learn more and excel with new studies at Portobello Institute.
“Studying supported my eagerness to learn more about the area of early childhood studies. I felt more research and the modules coursework would enhance my knowledge as a childcare practitioner.
“Each module supported areas that involved children and their wants and needs. Studying has given me more tools and knowledge to support the children in my setting,” she said.
Gaining her level 7 BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies has helped Sinead to advance her career.
“I have been offered a managerial role in a setting due to this degree qualification, so again so proud and grateful that I now have this degree.
“I am in the career I want. I am always eager to learn more and I feel I have gained so much from my studies at Portobello Institute. The degree reinforces all I am doing currently and gives me confidence in myself and my abilities when working in an early childcare setting,” she said.
Sinead completed her degree four years ago and has found it so valuable that she has now enrolled on her level 8 BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies to take her knowledge and career opportunities even further.
“Having enquired about many colleges I was lucky to speak to the coordinator at Portobello Institute. The warm welcoming phone call gave me more insight into the course I had chosen and the reassurance of the support that was given supported my decision to study at Portobello Institute.
“I was quite nervous starting the first module I will admit. It has been four years since studying and the degree level holds its own level of academic significance.
“However, with the support and guidance from the tutors I felt at ease very quickly. I knew tutors were only an email away if I was unsure of a topic. The modules are spread out so that you can concentrate and get assignments done as scheduled, all while working as a practitioner,” she said.
For many students, the blended learning delivery of the courses at Portobello Institue makes studying accessible around family life and work, this was also the case for Sinead.
“I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the different tutors as they spoke about the module at hand. Being online supported my work and family life, all while I progressed with my degree.
“The online resources supported my assignments and easy access helped me when putting my essay/projects together.
“In having a support class at the beginning guiding us through the methods to use and access the portals available was a great help also. And again, any tutor was always only an email away.
“This course was 100% right for me. So much so that I applied for my honours degree and am starting this in March 2023.
“Being online and recordings suited my lifestyle perfectly. Between working and my own family, it would be difficult to be out of the house at classes in the evenings and weekends. Where the scheduling at Portobello just fitted into my lifestyle perfectly.
“You engaged with your main tutor class then you’re given your dates for drafts and then your submission date, it couldn’t have been clearer.
“I would absolutely recommend Portobello Institute, I have already with my colleagues in my setting. The access to online libraries, tutors and other students is a great reassurance when you’re putting assignments together.
“The support is on hand and guidance is there from the beginning of the module. With predraft support and recordings, access is only a click away so you can work at your own pace and time, which is great when juggling work, home and my own family too,” she said.
If you are interested in studying any of our Early Years & Montessori courses, visit our department page here. You can book a consultation call with our expert advisor Jennifer Matteazzi here, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0031.