Course Overview

The National Diploma in Early Childhood Development recognises that training in early childhood education with a Montessori specialisation requires a breadth of understanding and varied set of skills as well as specific attitudes to children.

The two-year Level 5 National Diploma in Early Childhood Development (SAQA ID: 23118) will allow graduates to work as fully qualified early childhood educators in South Africa and to register with the South African Council for Educators.

Online Course Intake Dates

There are TWO intake opportunities per annum with limited places.

• April
• September

Once courses are fully subscribed, registrations will close and students will need to wait for the next intake.

Note: Only 20 positions are available for each intake.

The September 2017 course is fully subscribed. We are now taking applications for April 2018.

Course Modules

Course Modules

This course has been structured in such a way that all coursework must be completed within a two-year period. Course modules and resources are held on the Online Learning Portal to which all online students have access. Full study timetables are provided and students must ensure that all required work is completed within the stipulated timeframes.

* Orientation and Montessori Biography
* Study Skills
* Montessori Philosophy
* Childcare and Health
* Reflective Practice
* Activities of Everyday Living
* Child Development
* Education of the Senses
* Numeracy and Arithmetic
* Literacy
* Knowledge and Understanding of the World
* ECD in the South African Context
* Classroom Management
* Creativity
* Material Making
* Observation and Assessment
* Diversity, Special Needs and Inclusion.

    Online Support

    Students have ongoing access to a Module Tutor for each section of the course. Each module has a dedicated peer and tutor forum and live chat sessions.

    Please note that all chat sessions are compulsory as these hours form part of the final qualification requirements.

    Apparatus Workshop

    All online students must attend a two-week (90-hour) Apparatus Workshop during their course of study. These workshops are held in Cape Town and Pretoria during the first two weeks of the June/July school holidays every year.

    Students may elect to attend the workshop either in their first or second year of study. The whole workshop must however be completed in one continuous session and all lecture days must be attended in full. Lectures during the workshop are from Monday to Saturday, 09:00 to 18:00.


    As part of the course requirements, students will be required to undertake and pass two 3-hour theory examinations and one practical examination.

    The practical examination is taken on the last Saturday of the Apparatus Workshop.

    Professional Placement Requirements

    This qualification includes a compulsory Professional Placement in a Montessori school of at least 420 hours (16 consecutive weeks) during the second year of study.

    Before registering on the Online course, it is important that you ensure that there is a suitable Montessori setting in your vicinity where you would be able to undertake your Professional Placement. It is also important that you are aware that this placement should be done in 16 consecutive weeks, so you will need to make provision for this too.

    This placement forms a central point of practical integration for the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes developed over the course of the training. Students will be observed by a Placement Mentor from the school, and a Placement Tutor allocated by Montessori Centre South Africa (MCSA).

    Students will be observed by a Placement Mentor from the setting as well as a Professional Practice Tutor allocated by Montessori Centre South Africa. Our tutors are located in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Pretoria. Placements must be made within an 80km radius of a part-time centre. Should we be required to travel further afield, special arrangements will need to be made for the assessments that will incur additional charges.

    Entrance Requirements

    Applicants for the Online National Diploma course must
    • Be aged 18 years or over.
    • Have access to a tablet, laptop or desktop computer, be computer literate and have reliable Internet access..
    • Have access to a reliable Internet connection.
    • Hold a Matric Certificate with a minimum of a Diploma pass.
    • Be a South African citizen or permanent resident (or hold a full and relevant visa for the duration of the course).

    Application Proccess

    • Complete the application form and return it with supporting documents to with an application fee of R500.
    • Once the application and all documents have been received, the prospective student will receive a link to the Online Entrance Assessment, which will need to be completed as the next step of the application process.
    • Successful applicants will then receive an offer of study upon which the enrolment documents will be made available that will need to be submitted with the payment of the enrolment fee.

    Once courses are fully subscribed, registrations will close and students will need to wait for the next intake.

    Note: Only 20 positions are available for each intake.

    We are now accepting applications for April 2018.

    2017/8 Fees - National Diploma - Online

    Application FeeR500On application. (Non-refundable)
    Enrolment FeeR5 000On acceptance.
    Course FeesR28 800In 18 instalments of R1 600 payable by the 5th of each month.
    Theory Papers 1 and 2R750 per paperAll examination fees are payable 30 days prior to the exam dates detailed on the timetable.
    Apparatus Workshop and Prac ExamR5 000Payable upon registration for the workshop at least 6 weeks prior to the start.
    Professional Placement FeeR5 000Payable upon registration for PP.
    Total CostR45 300