The Learner Fund was introduced in 2013, and since then has provided financial assistance to thousands of Early Years practitioners in upskilling to a Level 5/6 in Early Childhood Care and Education. This has assisted in further professionalising the sector. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth recognises that there are a number of practitioners who have upskilled to a Level 7/8/9 in Early Childhood Care and Education during the same period and have not received any financial support.
Therefore, in recognition of this commitment to further professionalisation, DCYA plan to pay a Bursary (of approx. €750) to practitioners who have completed a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 7, Level 8, or Level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications since the inception of the Learner Fund. This qualification must be on the DCEDIY Early Years Recognised Qualifications list. The Learner Fund Bursary is expected again in 2021 and details should be available once this is confirmed.
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