Learner Fund Open for Applications

Pobal, on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, is currently inviting a third round of applications to the Learner Fund 2015-2016.

The Learner Fund is an initiative of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to enhance quality standards in Early Years services nationally. The aim of the Fund is to provide an opportunity for early years practitioners to access subsidised training via a panel of ‘approved’ Training Providers (TP). 

The Fund will provide a training subsidy to assist existing staff working directly with children in registered Early Years services to attain the mandatory minimum qualification of a Major Award Level 5 qualification. See DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications information document and list at www.dcya.gov.ie for more details. 

In a change to previous Learner Fund rounds, applications must be submitted by Early Years employers on behalf of eligible staff members.

Learner Fund 3 applies to Level 5 courses only. Consistent with Learner Funds 1 & 2, there is a panel of ‘approved’ Training Providers who offer eligible Level 5 courses, and applicants who are approved a Learner Fund subsidy can enroll with one of these Training Providers only.

County Childcare Committees (CCCs) will review Learner Fund Applications and will email the eligible Learner Applicant (LA) confirming their eligibility for a subsidy (or not), this email will include their LF ID number.  Once LAs receive their confirmation email from their CCC, they can make contact directly with their chosen TP to enrol on the relevant course, showing the TP their email confirmation of their approval for a LF subsidy. On enrolment the LA will pay their learner contribution to the TP (or agree a payment schedule with the TP). CCCs will also support approved Learners to identify their preferred course.

The online applications process will close mid-December 2015.

Further information on the Learner Fund, including detailed Application Guidelines and FAQ’s for Learner Applicants is available at www.pobal.ie

The online applications process will close mid-December 2015.