The Department of Children & Youth Affairs will re-open the Learner Fund Bursary to Early Learning and Care Practitioners who are new graduates of a recognised Early Childhood Education and Care degree programme. Fingal County Childcare Committee will process and appraise Learner Fund Bursary applications for the Fingal area.
The following rules apply to the Graduate Bursary:
1. This qualification for which the bursary is paid must be on the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list.
2. The award must be placed at level 7/8/9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and achieved in the academic years 2013-2019.
3. The bursary amount will be €750
4. The qualification must be a full, major award; the bursary cannot be paid in respect of partially completed awards.
5. Letters from third level education providers which state that a partially completed award is equivalent to a full award is not acceptable. (in some specific cases students who have registered for a Level 8 Award but successfully completed and exited with a Level 7 Major award is eligible. This is only possible in 3 Colleges National College of Ireland (Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education), Cork IT (BA in Early Years Education), London Metropolitan University offered through Portobello Institute (BA[Ord] Early Childhood Studies) as they appear on the DCYA published list of qualifications).
6. A letter of eligibility to practice from DCYA which states that the applicant is eligible for work as an ECCE room leader at the higher capitation rate can also be accepted.
7. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be that which qualifies the person to work in the Early Years Sector (and is at least level 7 on the NFQ).
8. Applications may only apply once and cannot be granted the Learner Fund bursary for a second time if they have already received it before i.e. the bursary will be paid for one of the following – a level 7 OR a level 8 OR a level 9 qualification
9. The applicant cannot have received any public funding in support of their completing the award relating to this application.
10. The bursary is available to experienced practitioners only; applicants must have been working in a Tusla registered Early Learning & Care Service prior to beginning their course.
11. Applicants must be currently working in a Tusla registered Early Learning & Care Service.
12. Staff working in standalone School Age Childcare services are not eligible to apply.
13. Application must be made by the holder of the award and not by any third party on their behalf.
With regard to (5) above: In some specific cases students who have registered for a Level 8 Award but successfully completed and exited with a Level 7 Major award is eligible. This is only possible in 3 Colleges National College of Ireland (Bachelor of
Arts in Early Childhood Education), Cork IT (BA in Early Years Education), London Metropolitan University offered through Portobello Institute (BA[Ord] Early Childhood Studies) as they appear on the DCYA published list of qualifications).
If a person who does not have a qualification on the published list, or a letter of eligibility to practice, applies for a bursary, FCCC cannot accept the application.
With regard to (7) above: DCYA is aware that an increasing number of qualified practitioners choose to pursue post-graduate education to further advance their practice, but is not in a position to provide funding in respect of this. If an applicant does not have an eligible undergraduate degree, and has a post-graduate award which is not on the published list, they should apply for qualifications recognition as a priority. The outcome of this may make them eligible for a bursary, or may not, but is unlikely to be concluded in time for the closing dates.
Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
The DCYA will make the decision on funding and all decisions are final.
Ø Application form to be completed in full and by the deadline specified.
Ø Applicants must be currently working in a Tusla registered Early Learning & Care Service.
Ø Supporting documentation must be provided with the application form
Ø In lieu of graduating certificates, transcripts from the third level education institution can be accepted
Ø The transcripts must be in document/hard copy form and endorsed by the institution; screenshots of online student records cannot be accepted.
Ø The transcript can only be accepted if it clearly shows that the full award has been achieved.
Timeframe for applications:
Bursaries are open for application: 19th August 2019
Deadline for submission of applications: 4pm on 13th September 2019
Payment of approved applications: Week Beginning 18th November 2019