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Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Development (3 – 6 years)

Course Details

The Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Development is a SAQA-registered level 5 qualification (SAQA ID: 23117) in early childhood development that is accredited by the ETDP SETA. This 18-month (12 months part-time, with an additional six months for the professional placement component), 120-credit qualification is designed to equip graduates to work as teacher assistants in a Montessori pre-school. This is also an ideal qualification for those persons already working as assistants in Montessori environments who do not yet hold a qualification. Graduates may register with SACE (the South African Council for Educators) as early childhood development practitioners.

This course is NOT designed for prospective Montessori lead teachers. Persons wishing to work as a qualified lead teacher in the Montessori preschool should consider one of our Diploma options instead.

  • Orientation and Montessori Biography
  •  Study Skills
  •  Montessori Philosophy
  •  Child Development
  •  Childcare and Health
  •  Reflective Practice
  •  Activities of Everyday Living
  •  Education of the Senses
  •  Numeracy and Arithmetic
  •  Literacy
  •  Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  •  Creativity
  • Professional Placement

The part-time lecture timetable begins in February 2022 and runs until January 2023. Please note that all lectures are compulsory as these hours form part of the final qualification requirements.

As part of the course requirements, students will be required to undertake and pass a practical and oral examination.

This qualification includes a compulsory professional placement in a Montessori setting of at least 150 hours (6 consecutive weeks) to be undertaken between February and June 2023.

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 setting as well as a Placement Tutor allocated by Montessori Centre South Africa.

MCSA assists with the placement of students for this part of the course requirements. Placements must be made within an 80km radius of the centre. Should external placements be required, these will be charged to the students.

Applicants for the Higher Certificate course must

  • Be aged 18 years or over.
  • Hold a Matric Certificate with a minimum of a Higher Certificate pass. Students must have passed 6 of the 7 subjects offered with a compulsory minimum of 40% in Home Language, 30% in the Language of Teaching and Learning, 2 other subjects at a minimum of 40% and 3 other subjects at a minimum of 30%.
  • In the absence of a Matric certificate, students will need to provide evidence of a relevant equivalence certificate (i.e. for foreign school leaving certification).
  • Be a South African citizen or permanent resident (or hold a full and relevant visa for the duration of the course).

We are only accepting applications for our Cape Town centre for the Higher Certificate course in 2022.

Application Process:

  • Complete the application form on the MCSA website and submit it with all the supporting documents. A non-refundable application fee of R600 is to be paid on application.
  • An appointment will be made for an interview at the centre where you will also be required to write a short language and numeracy entrance assessment.
  • Successful applicants will then receive an offer of study upon which the enrolment documents will need to be submitted with the payment of the enrolment fee in order to secure a place.


Enrolment fee R5 500 On enrolment
Course and lecture fee R19 250 Payable over 10 months in instalments of R1 925.00 per month from February 2022 to November 2022.
Examination fee R2 000 Payable by 05 November 2022
Professional Placement fee R4 500 Payable by 05 February 2023
Total Cost R31 250


I would love to say the experience I've had by studying with Montessori Centre South Africa in Buccleuch was amazing as I truly loved it from the bottom of my heart. Becoming a teacher would be the best feeling as this is my passion. I love the children and, of course, the Montessori Materials which are out of this world. They are is stimulating and enjoyable to work with.

Raheemah Reheman
Higher Certificate, 2017