IIE Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education

Please note, not all programmes are available on all IIE Varsity College campuses. To find out if your programme of interest is available, contact the campus directly.

The IIE Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education (HCECCE) is an entry level/introductory qualification (at NQF Level 5) to the study of early childhood development (ECD) education from birth through to 4 years of age. It is intended to provide students with “basic introductory knowledge, cognitive and conceptual tools and practical techniques to enable further study in ECD” (DHET, 2017: 24). 
Minimum Admission

English Notes
pass with
NC (V):
pass with
pass with
InternationalA SAQA Evaluation Certificate with NSC L4 equivalence with
at least 40% or equivalent for English.
Mature Age ExemptionCandidates must have attempted the Senior
Certificate or equivalent, attained the age of 23
before or during the first year of registration
with three years’ work experience and proven
ability relating to the proposed programme as
well as adequate communication skills; OR
Candidates must have attained the age of 45
before or during the first year of registration.
Recognition of Prior
Learning (RPL)
Candidates must demonstrate suitability for
admission in terms of Senate’s resolution 6.6 of
20 October 2005 which allows for Senate’s
discretionary conditional admission (if
General Education
Development (GED) - An
USA qualification
developed by the
American Council on
Education (ACE).
Candidates with a GED qualification may be
admitted if they have a SAQA Evaluation
Certificate with NSC L4 equivalence as well as
NBT: AQL results and have obtained a score of
at least 37 for Academic Literacy (AL) and a
score of at least 37 for Quantitative Literacy
The IIE Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a 137-credit qualification on level 5 (SAQA ID: 104532).
  • Beginner ECD Practitioner/Facilitator
  • ECD/Preschool Teacher Aid
  • Au Pair
  • ECD/Preschool Aftercare Teacher

At The IIE’s Varsity College we are proud of and passionate about our shift away from the ‘traditional lecturing’ methodology to our blended-learning strategy – the VCBlend.

This blended-learning strategy extends learning beyond the confines of the classroom and creates opportunities for our students to work collaboratively, with peers and their educators, to construct their understanding of concepts. Student engagement is supported by the use of a learning management system (LMS) and the online learning materials that have been developed to underpin our teaching strategy.

Due to the VCBlend approach, you will be expected to spend time conducting your own research, study for assessments and work on assignments. To gain the most from the blended learning experience, VC’s Wireless classrooms and campuses, students are required to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) such as mobile devices, netbooks, laptops or tablets, etc. so as to develop the necessary academic and digital literacies over the period of your degree.

This student-focused approach compels our students to be accountable for their learning while developing the critical skills they will need to thrive in the rapidly changing 21st century work environment.

As such, academic life for our students is dynamic, challenging and relevant.


The IIE is not only accredited in South Africa but its dedication to providing quality education also led to it being accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) in 2014. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the United Kingdom that accredits private providers globally, including Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. In 2017 The IIE had its accreditation status confirmed by the BAC as an Independent Higher Education Institution confirming our confidence in the international comparability of our standards.

“South African students need to know, when they select a private higher education institution, that the standards offered are equivalent to those of a public University. Our students get this from our extensive local accreditation and registration. The students also benefit from knowing that we meet international standards too. The IIE is accredited as an Independent Higher Education Institution by the British Accreditation Council. Locally and internationally we have demonstrated the quality of what we offer,” said Dr Coughlan, Director, The Independent Institute of Education.

The IIE’s Varsity College students can be confident that their IIE learning experience meets international best practice standards.”