new nurturing skills learner fund
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care

Key Facts about our Nurturing Skills Learner Funded (NSLF) programmes

Start Date:

23rd September 2024

Duration:

BA (Ord) Level 7 is 2 years*
BA (Hons) Level 8 is 3 years*

Awarding Body:

QQI

Award:

BA (Ord) Level 7 or
BA (Hons) Level 8

Format:

Online

Student Contribution

€720 per academic year,
which can be paid through instalments**

*for applicants with level 6 Childcare Major award | ** subject to student eligibility for NSLF funding

Enrolment Deadline: 31st May 2024

Funding details

What is the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF)?

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has launched a pilot of a new Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF).

The NSLF aims to assist early years educators to pursue early learning and care (ELC) qualifications that have been approved by the Qualifications Advisory Board (QAB) while continuing to work in the sector.

Chevron College is an Approved Higher Education Institution for the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund Scheme for both our L7 and L8 Early Years programmes.

The pilot Nurturing Skills Learner Fund scheme will fund a number of students to undertake QAB-approved Early Learning and Care degree programmes (at levels 7 or 8), with funding provided directly to the educational institutions, lowering the overall cost to those studying while working in the sector.

To minimise the barrier to participation, the pilot fund will meet 80% of the tuition fees and student contribution due by successful applicants, up to a maximum amount of €3,200. The remaining costs can be paid by the student or their employer, though a further 10% (€360) contribution will be refunded to the student six months after completion of each academic year, once they remain working in a ELC/SAC service and subject to the continuation of the NSLF pilot scheme.

Student Eligibility

Those wishing to make an application in May must meet the following eligibility criteria for the NSLF,

• be working with children in a Tusla-registered Early Learning and Care (ELC) or School Age Childcare (SAC) service,

• the service in which the applicant is working in, must have a current signed Core Funding contract with DCEDIY.

• Applicants must have worked within an ELC or SAC service for the six months prior to their application. In 2024 the pilot scheme is only open to those entering an approved ELC degree programme for the first time.

 

Furthermore, students will need to meet the programme entry requirements; by holding a QQI Level 6 Childhood Care and Education Major Award, Level 6 LINC Special Purpose Award or equivalent.

Funding

The 2024 Pilot NSLF is limited by budget and is anticipated to be oversubscribed.

However, for successful applicants, the NSLF scheme will make a contribution of up to 90% of course fees over the course of the degree.

Funding will be paid each year to an amount of 80% of the total cost of course fees (after discounting other governmental assistance such as Free Fees, SUSI etc..) to a maximum cap of €3,200 per year. This funding will be paid directly to the educational intuition on behalf of the successful applicants. The remaining 10% (of the overall 90% contribution) will be refunded to the applicants after completion of the course and contingent on the successful applicants remaining working in the sector for 6 months after completing.

Programme Costs

  • Yearly Cost: €720 (can be paid in 5 monthly instalments of €144 each)
  • Learner Fund Contribution: An additional €360 directly paid to the student for each year of studies, 6 months after you have completed the course providing you are still working in Early Years

 *NSLF funding will be available to support students who are progressing in their degrees ie not repeating years, subject to the continuation of the NSLF pilot scheme

Timelines

Applications from prospective students for the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund are now open, with programmes commencing in September 2024. Please call 01 6855300 or complete the initial Expression of Interest form below.

Based on the very high level of interest that we have received, it is most likely that the demand for funding will far exceed supply, so please register your interest today to avoid disappointment.

How can I secure my place?

Contact us and pay your first instalment of €144

Why choose this course?

Chevron College recognises that every childhood lasts a lifetime and acknowledges the significant role the Early Childhood Educator plays in shaping early childhood.  Chevron, therefore, aims to ensure that graduates of this programme will emerge as highly qualified professionals who equally value their role, and the role of early childhood education and care.

The diversity of this programme will ensure that Early Childhood Educators are equipped with the competence to navigate the ever-changing landscape of early childhood education and care in Ireland.  It aims to enable Early Years Educators to support the holistic care and development of all children within their practice, with an emphasis on supporting children’s rights, inclusion, diversity and collaborative practice.

Early Childhood Educators will emerge from the programme as highly employable, child-centred professionals and leaders, with the tools to positively impact the lives of young children.  Graduates can work as Early Years Educators, take on leadership and management roles within the sector, and undertake further academic study and research.

Students will be supported through this journey of personal and professional development by a team of highly qualified and experienced Early Childhood Education and Care lecturers and support staff.

How it works

Students can study from home through Chevron’s Virtual Learning Environment and engage with weekly study resources at times that suit their own schedule.

There are weekly live webinars to further support students’ learning, which students find extremely beneficial. These are recorded, therefore, if students cannot attend the content is accessible online after the live session.

Following the completion of each module students will have developed and gathered the knowledge, understanding and weekly feedback to enable them to complete their final assessment.

Professional Practice Placement is a requirement at all 4 stages of this programme, with 35% of the programme allocated for placement.

Learner supports and help

If students have queries on any of the course content, they can post a question to the support forum and their lecturer will post a response to their query. Lecturers also have Open Zoom meetings each week so students can pop in to have a chat about module content if they so wish.

The Studies Advisor is available to support students with areas including academic writing, referencing skills and to develop a realistic study schedule for each module.

During Professional Practice Placement students will be supported by both their Chevron Supervisor and Placement Mentor.

Course Content

Stage 1 (60 Credits) – (Only for learners who don’t have QQI level 6 Childcare Major) 

Stage 1 of the programme will introduce students to the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector including legislative, quality and curriculum requirements.  Students will explore concepts, theories and strategies associated with early childhood learning and development and will recognise the importance of a play-based, inclusive early learning environment.  Students will embark on the journey of developing their own professional identity and pedagogical approaches to become reflective, ethical, child-centred Early Childhood Educators.

Stage 2 (120 Credits)

Stage 2 will provide students with a strong understanding of the key areas and concepts pertaining to the role of the Early Years Educator.  Students will evaluate current early years practice from a global and national context and will examine strategies and practices to support the holistic development of children, with an emphasis on creativity, inclusion, equity, and collaborative practice.

Stage 3 (120 Credits)

Stage 3 will further support students to develop an in-dept understanding of key areas and concepts pertaining to the role of the Early Years Educator and Leader.  Students will evaluate current early years practice from a global and national context and will examine strategies and practices to ensure a high-quality, complaint early years environment.  Through research, reflection and professional practice placement students will further develop their professional practice and emergence as ethical and transformative leaders.

Stage 4 (60 Credits)

Stage 4 will provide students with a more comprehensive and complex understanding of ECEC in Ireland.  Students will examine the role of management in ECEC and understand the theory and processes involved in the management of high quality ECEC and School Age Childcare services.  Students will analyse existing research and engage in new research pertaining to the area of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Course Modules

Year 1 – (Only for learners who don’t have QQI level 6 Childcare Major)

Semester 1 Credits Semester 2 Credits
ECEC Historical and Current Contexts 10 Credits Language and Multilingualism in Early Childhood 5 Credits
Child Health, Care and Wellbeing 10 Credits Curriculum & Pedagogy 1 5 Credits
Early Childhood Learning and Development 5 Credits Professional Practice 1 15 Credits
Psychology of Child Development 5 Credits

Year 2

SEMESTER 1 CREDITS SEMESTER 2 CREDITS
Sociology and Social Policy 5 Credits Literacy in the Early Years

Environment

5 Credits
Creative Play in the Early Years Environment 5 Credits Advanced Early Childhood Learning and Development 5 Credits

 

 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 5 Credits Supporting Community and Parental Involvement 5 Credits
Professional Practice 2 30 Credits

Year 3

SEMESTER 1 CREDITS SEMESTER 2 CREDITS
Inspection, Regulation, Policies and Procedures 5 Credits Inclusion and Children with Additional Needs 5 Credits
Curriculum and Pedagogy 2 5 Credits Children’s Rights and the Voice of the Child 5 Credits
Supervision, Mentoring &

Leadership

5 Credits Research Methods including a Research Proposal 5 Credits
Professional Practice 3 30 Credits

Year 4

Year 4

Semester 1

Year 4

Semester 2

Level 8 Level 8
Quality in ECEC Emerging Issues in Early Childhood
5 5
Advanced Pedagogical Practices School Age Provision
5 5
Leading Management in Early Years Law in ECEC
5 5
Dissertation
20
Professional Practice 4
10
60

Work Experience

Professional Practice Placement

750 hours of professional practice placement are required in stage 2 and stage 3 (level 7), along with 250 hours in stage 4 (level 8).

Placements must be completed across three various age groups:

  1. 0 to 18 months;
  2. 19 months to 2 years and 7 months;
  3. 2 years and 8 months to 6 years, including children with additional needs.
  • A minimum of 40 hours must be completed with at least two of the age groups during each stage.
  • A minimum of 40 hours must be completed with all three age groups by the end of Stage 3.
  • A minimum of 40 hours must be completed in a second early childhood service during each stage.
  • Placement must be completed in a Tusla-registered early years service (crèche, pre-school, Montessori, Early Start Unit or ASD pre-school class).

Entry requirements

  • QQI level 6 Early Years Major award
  • English proficiency (if English is not your 1st language) any of the below english proficiently exams will suffice-IELTS score 6.0 or above-Duolingo score of 95 or higher-Cambridge score of FCE or higher-Any assessment CEFR B2+ or higher
  • Sufficient IT skills
  • LINC Special Purpose Award

Qualification gained

  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 7
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 8

Career opportunities

  • Become employed as an Early Years Graduate Centre Manager and earn €17.25 an hour
  • Open your own Early Years service
  • Become employed with government department such as Tusla, local Childcare Committees or CE schemes
  • Gain employment with education providers in a tutoring/lecturing role
  • Pathway to become a Secondary school teacher, PME programme (Professional Masters in Education)
  • Obtain a Teaching Council number to qualify for Summer programme & Home Tuition scheme and earn €27 an hour
  • The more staff qualified to a higher level , your service will receive more subsidies under the Core Funding scheme
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Teaching and learning strategy

All students entering this degree programme complete an intensive induction process. This induction prepares the novice learner to transition successfully to study in an online Higher Education environment. Our tailored induction process is comprised of a 1:1 induction meeting and skills session with their personal Studies Advisor. This 1:1 induction session will teach the student how to access our virtual learning environment and how to use zoom. These sessions are tailored to meet the needs of individual students. At Chevron College we are aware that IT skills vary between students. These sessions are therefore designed to meet each student at their own level. By the end of this 1:1 session each student will have learned how to access our VLE and online zoom meetings. All students will therefore have developed the skills to participate in the intensive 4 day class induction sessions.

The four induction sessions for the class group take place during the month prior to course commencement. At these sessions, students will be introduced to their course tutors and their class community. These sessions will teach students the skills required to succeed in an online Higher Education environment where continuous active engagement with resources and formative assessments is required. Students will learn academic writing and presentation skills. They will learn critical reading writing and thinking skills and they will learn how to conduct literature searches. These sessions teach the students the foundational thinking and IT skills required to participate in our blended learning degree programme.

Each semester runs for 12 weeks; students study 2 modules each semester. Students should allocate a minimum of 10 hours per week for each module.The weekly module content is released on the Virtual Learning Environment on a Monday morning at 6am. Each week there is a recorded lecture, a workshop/webinar and an Educational Action to complete for each module.

The lectures function to provide a content overview of the week’s learning and establish the expected aims and learning outcomes as well as the criteria for measuring their achievement. During the lecture key concepts, ideas and theories are introduced and contextualised. This reinforces the relevance of the material for the students with the use of examples

The workshops and webinars function to support students to investigate, question and develop critical thinking skills about the weekly topics. Students are supported to take part in active discovery within their class community. This supports students to develop their Higher Order Thinking Skills and to apply these ways of thinking and practicing to Case Studies, Problem Solving Scenarios and Ethical Dilemmas. The skills required to perform educational actions for example writing skills, analysis, using info-graphics, evaluation of a source etc are also scaffolded during the workshops/webinars.

Each week students are required to complete an educational action. This provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. If they take part students are provided with feedback and feedforward on performance on the Learning Outcomes and expectations are clarified for demonstrating achievement in the final module assessment.

Fees

BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 7

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Yearly Cost: €720 (can be paid in 5 monthly installments of €144 each)
  • Learner Fund Contribution: An additional €360 directly paid to the student for each year of studies, 6 months after you have completed the course providing you are still working in Early Years
  • Overall Cost: €720* after the Learner Fund refund

BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 8  

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Yearly Cost: €720 (can be paid in 5 monthly installments of €144 each)
  • Learner Fund Contribution: An additional €360 directly paid to the student for each year of studies, 6 months after you have completed the course providing you are still working in Early Years
  • Overall Cost: €1080* after the Learner Fund refund.

 *NSLF funding will be available to support students who are progressing in their degrees ie not repeating years, subject to the continuation of the NSLF pilot scheme

 Places are limited and on a first come, first served basis.

How to enrol?

Enrolment and payment are completed over the phone. To secure your place, please click Enrol Now:

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