24 March, 2021 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

What is a ‘Higher Cap’ in Early Years and How Does it Relate to a Level 7 Degree?

Higher Capitation in Early Years Education Montessori Pre-School

A higher capitation fee, known as 'higher cap' is payable to pre-school service providers where all pre-school leaders delivering the service hold a bachelor's degree in childhood/early education (minimum of Level 7 on the NFQ or equivalent) and have three years of experience working in the sector. (https://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie)

To receive Higher Capitation, service providers apply to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs DCYA (now the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth DCEDIY). 

What qualification do I need to be eligible for Higher Capitation? 

Not all Level 7 or 8 awards are acceptable as qualifying for the higher capitation fee.   

For an award to qualify, it must include significant content in core knowledge areas such as child development 0-6 years and early childhood education theory and practice.   

For example, secondary school teaching qualifications are not acceptable as they do not cover these core knowledge areas. 

This document by the DCEDIY lists Portobello Institute as a recognised Higher Education Institute and confirms that our degrees meet the requirements for higher cap. 

How much is it worth? 

According to the DCEDIY RULES FOR ECCE PROGRAMME Valid for the 2020/21 Programme Year 

For each eligible child, the higher capitation rate is equivalent to an additional €11.25 per child per week above the €69.00 standard rate. 

For example, a class of 20 children earning the higher capitation of €11.25 per child per weefor 38 weeks of the year means an extra €8,550 for the setting per year. 

What’s involved in the Level 7? 

The Level 7 is a BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies delivered through blended learning, you can work full time and complete this degree. Upon completion of this Level 7 degree you will be eligible to gain the higher capitation grant from DCEDIY for your role in an early childhood centre. 

You can gain a Level 7 BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies degree in just 14 months whilst you are working, if you currently hold a QQI ECCE Level 6 award. 

You can study this degree in your own time through blended learning, with a combination of webinar tutorial seminars and online learning.

The quality of our tutors and tutor support sets Portobello apart. Read the following feedback from a learner who recently finished her Level 7 degree:
"The tutors were a pleasant voice for our webinars, chirpy, pleasant and chatting among students, the small touches of humanity were gorgeous in this particular year. It was a personal touch, that was lovely, they were solid nice people, very supportive with the feedback and responses to emails with a query.
"One tutor said to me one day ‘you’ve got this’ in response to an email. Three words and those three words kept coming back into my head, I’m not such an egit afterall! It didn’t take her two minutes, and I don't know if she knew the impact it would have, but it was huge for me. It was an online course sometimes you don’t get that, it’s hard to meet that standard in non-face-to-face but they nailed it. I looked forward to the webinars and emails and communication. The tutors were available for phone calls too so that was a fantastic service, it was one to one academic support should you need it, just great."

You can join the large network of early years practitioners on this learning journey. There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable.

These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a Level 7 BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies degree that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

Why sign up for Level 7 now and secure higher cap? 

By signing up for our Level 7 degree which starts in October 2021 now, you can avail of our early bird discount, which is the biggest discount we offer, you can get €600 off your fees just for signing up before March 31, 2021.  

As an early years graduate, working as a manager in an early childhood setting is a natural career progression. By completing this degree you will be keeping up with the increasingly graduate led sector and securing your own employability in future.

Keep up with the higher cap

Apply online or book a consultation with Jennifer Matteazzi in admissions to secure your place. You can also call Jennifer on 01 892 0031 between 8 am and 2pm on weekdays or email jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute.com  

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