Kathleen Mc Fadden – BEd (Hons) in Early Education and Care

Name: Kathleen Mc Fadden

From: Donegal

School: Loreto Community School, Milford

Postgraduate Study: PGCE in Primary Education

Coming from a large family, I have always loved working with children. I knew from quite a young age that this was an area I wanted to study. I am a very creative and imaginative person, and I feel these are two key attributes of a successful early years practitioner. I am very independent and so in choosing a degree programme at ATU Sligo, I was spreading my wings and moving away from home. However, I wouldn’t be too far from home which was important also.

Knowing that you can help shape the healthy development and learning of children aged 0-6 makes this degree particularly enjoyable. The ability to participate in two professional practice placements within reputable settings, allowed me the opportunity to put the theory I learnt in class into a real world work environment. This gave me a greater understanding of the work carried out within the sector.

The versatility of studying Early Education and Care at ATU Sligo is what makes the degree so special. The learning, skills and competencies this degree provide, sets you up for numerous career choices. It really is a course that can be applied to many future careers with children. For those who wish to stay in the early years sector in Ireland, there are big changes coming with regards to pay and professional status. This is something very exciting to be a part of.

When you study a degree, you are surrounded by people who are also interested in the same area as you. You make friends so easily and quickly! Sligo will always be my second home. I have met some amazing people, both peers and lecturers, who I know I will keep in contact with forever. In Sligo, there is a real sense of community and that is what makes it a truly incredible place to study.

Since graduating, I moved to Liverpool and now work as a Senior Teaching Assistant in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) where I work with 11 to 14 year olds. My job deals primarily with young people that have Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs and a lot of them have gaps in their early development.

Find out more about AU919 Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Early Education and Care