Learner Fund

The Learner Fund is an initiative of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and was introduced in 2014. Pobal administer the Learner Fund on behalf of the DCYA.

The Learner Fund had two primary aims:

  1. To provide subsidy funding to support existing staff working directly with children in registered early years services and registered childminders to meet the mandatory minimum qualification requirements which came into effect on December 31st 2016 i.e. Level 5 in Early Childhood Care and Education on the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ) (or equivalent).
  2. To provide subsidy funding to support existing Early Years practitioners who have an ECCE Major Award qualification at Level 5 on the NFQ (or equivalent), to attain a Level 6 qualification, in order to meet ECCE contractual requirements which also came into effect on 31st December 2016.

Since the Learner Fund was established, up to 4,488 early years practitioners have been supported through four rounds of Learner Fund to raise their qualification levels in Early Childhood Care and Education in line with the National Qualifications Framework. The Learner Fund is currently closed to applications and no further calls are planned at this time.

As well as providing subsidies for Levels 5 and 6, as above, Learner Fund has also provided bursaries to 1,242 Early Years Graduates who have completed qualifications Level 7, 8, 9 on the NFQ.


CCC Contacts List

Programme Updates

June 12, 2018

Learner Fund 1,2,3,4 - Announcement 31st May 2018

All Learner Fund training has to be completed by June 30th 2018.
Learners who have been approved a Learner Fund subsidy should make contact with their local City/County Childcare Committee to confirm progress on the completion of their training. Training completed after June 30th will not be covered by Learner Fund.
Please contact your City/County Childcare Committee with any further queries.

June 12, 2018
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Programme Contact Details

Pobal Support

T. 01 511 7222
E. learnerfundqueries@pobal.ie