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Jessica Mooney – Higher Cap For Setting Owner With Level 7 Degree

Jessica Mooney – Higher Cap For Setting Owner With Level 7 Degree


Jessica Mooney – Higher Cap For Setting Owner With Level 7 Degree

Jessica Mooney is an early years setting owner who secured the higher cap after graduating from Portobello Institute’s Level 7 BA (Ord) degree in Early Childhood Studies.

Our degree programme is recognised by the DCEDIY for qualification for Higher Capitation in a setting. Jessica explains the value of gaining her degree as an early years setting owner.

“I run a small early years setting in rural Ireland for local children and families. I do it more for the love of the children and as a service to the parents than for any financial reward. My pre-school is small and it is difficult to recruit someone local with a Level 7 so I had no real alternative but to do it myself.

“I wasn’t enthusiastic about the prospect of taking on a degree course. Why should I study? What about my experience? What about the 20 years I have been providing what I deem to be a quality service to children and families in my area? Is this not recognised? No, is the answer not if you want to receive the Higher Capitation grant.

“When I spoke to Jacinta in Portobello she pointed out to me, ‘You are doing the work, why not get paid the additional €9,405* per year, you are entitled to it’. She made sense and I had to agree with her.

“I didn’t expect to enjoy studying, it was something I had to do rather than wanted to do. To my absolute surprise, I loved it! The content is related to what I do every day, I can link the theory to my everyday practice, it made this programme so enjoyable.

“I thought I knew a lot, I have over 20 years experience running my own pre-school, but what I know is only the tip of the iceberg. I am excited to progress now to Level 8 and on someday to a masters. And to top it off, because I hold a level 7 qualification, I could apply for the Higher Cap additional funding of €9,405* this year,” she said.

Jessica Mooney, Creche Owner & 2019 Graduate

The Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme** currently offers two years early years sessional provision to children aged over 2:8yrs.

A minimum QQI Level 5 in ECCE is required to work in an early year’s service, while all leaders must hold a Level 6 qualification***.

The scheme recognises those leaders with a Level 7 or above by paying an extra €10.50 per child per week for those registered under that leader.

Your current Level 6 qualification will allow you advanced entry into the Level 7 BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies which will take you 14 months to complete.

*The difference between the standard and higher rate of capitation for a setting with 22 children for 38 weeks is €9,405.

**Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), (2019). Rules for Ecce Programme [Online]. Available: Click here for further information

***Department of Education and Skills (DES), (2019). Professional Award Criteria and Guidelines for Initial Professional Education (Level 7 and Level 8) Degree Programmes for the Early Learning and Care (ELC) Sector in Ireland [Online].Click here for further information.

Read More: What is Higher Cap and How Does it Relate to Level 7?

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