Childcare Funding

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) wishes to maintain progress in improving and reinforcing quality of early childhood care and education services provided to children. A range of capital investment programmes have supported this progress to date including the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme; the National Childcare Investment Programme and the Childcare Capital Programme 2012.

In 2013 DCYA secured €2,750,000 for the Childcare Capital Programme 2013.

Objectives of the Childcare Capital Programme 2013 were:

  • To improve the quality of service to children
  • To provide for critical works that ensure that childcare facilities are ‘fit for purpose’

The 2013 funding scheme covered four strands:

  • small grants to purchase equipment or carry out small maintenance work
  • grants to improve accessibility of services for children with disabilities
  • grants to provide natural outdoor spaces that promote active outdoor play and
  • grants towards critical works to ensure that buildings are fit for purpose under the childcare regulations (open to community/not for profit  services only).

The scheme was administered by Pobal on behalf of the DCYA and the scheme will be administered online.

Learner Fund Bursary


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 EY sector. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs 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, the DCYA plan to pay a Bursary (of approx. €750) to EY 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 (2013). This qualification must be on the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list.


To be considered eligible for the Learner Fund Bursary, an applicant must:

  • Have graduated with a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 7/8/9 on the National Framework of Qualifications in 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 *. (Qualification must be on DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list);
  • Have been working in a registered Early Years Service prior to beginning their course;
  • Be currently working in a registered Early Years Service;
  • Not have received any state funding to assist in completing their listed course. (skillsnet, CCC funding, etc.);
  • Have completed and forwarded the application form (along with all relevant documentation) to their local CCC for consideration by 5 pm on Tuesday 17th January 2017.



*Funding permitting, it is hoped in future years to establish a learner fund for qualifications at levels 7/8/9.  In the meantime, the Department intends to make this bursary available next year to staff who graduate at any of these levels in 2017.

Please click here for an application form learner-fund-bursary-documents