New Nurturing Skills Learner Fund

What is NSLF?


The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has launched a new Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF) in 2024.

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 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 scheme.

new nurturing skills learner fund

Student Eligibility 

Those wishing to make an application 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.


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.


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 Duration

Level 7

2 Academic years

Level 8

3 Academic years

Programme Costs

The student contribution is €720 per academic year, which can be paid through instalments. €360 will be refunded to the student by the fund six months after completion of the programme, subject to continuing in employment within the sector.


Applications from prospective students for the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund are now being accepted, with programmes commencing in September 2024. Please complete the initial Expression of Interest form below or call us 01 6855 300.

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.

What courses are funded?

The NSLF will make a significant contribution to course fees that early years educators face while pursuing QAB-approved ELC qualifications at levels 7 and 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

  • BA (Ord) Early Childhood Education & Care level 7
  • BA (Honours) Early Childhood Education & Care level 8

What happens next?

Simply call 01 6855300 or complete the below expression of interest form below and we will contact you to with regard to registering you for our next intake.

Call Now Button Skip to content