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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 2021 and runs until December 2021. 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 that will take place in December 2021.

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 2022.

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).
  • If possible, attend an Information Session at one of our centres.
  • Complete the application form and return it with supporting documents to with the non-refundable application fee of R600.
  • 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 000 On enrolment
Course and lecture fee R19 250 Payable over 10 months in instalments of R1 925.00 per month from February 2021 to November 2021.
Examination fee R2 000 Payable by 05 November 2021
Professional Placement fee R4 000 Payable by 05 February 2022
Total Cost R30 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