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MBE Skillnet Funding for Upskilling Early Years Sector

Upskilling the workforce of the early years sector is a priority of the DCYA and is set out in their strategic plan. Portobello Institute is delighted to confirm that funding is now available for early years practitioners through the MBE Skillnet for the Level 7 DCYA approved BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies degree. This degree is starting on 23rd May & June 13th with workshops delivered by online webinar. You do not have to be from the Midlands area to avail of this funding.

Now is the time to upskill!

Over 500 students each year complete online learning courses with Portobello Institute - now is the perfect time to join them! Course prices have been reduced, with funding available through MBE Skillnet and with enforced closure of Early Years Settings, it is the perfect time to upskill.

How will I learn?

Courses are all being delivered by blended learning. There are usually 9 workshops on the level 7 with online learning and one to one tutor support. During the Covid-19 shutdown, all workshops are being delivered by online webinar. This form of delivery allows you to study whilst staying in the safety of your home. Lectures are being delivered in 2 hr sessions through our online software. You can participate, ask a question and engage with others in your group just as if you were sitting in class. There is one to one tutor support from experienced early years practitioners through out the programme - you can email, call or submit your query via our online learning platform. 

Who is eligible for funding?

If you are an employer or are currently employed (even on temporary lay-off) in the early years sector, you may be eligible for funding through MBE Skillnet.

At this time, funding is restricted to students applying for the Level 7 programme commencing in Athlone on 23rd May '20.

We have a special offer available for students not eligible for funding at this time - please contact Jenny on 01-8920031 or email jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute for further information.

How much is the level 7 and what is the payment structure?

The level 7 BA Early Childhood Studies is available at the reduced rate of €2,640 to members of MBE Skillnet. This price is inclusive of registration fees of €305, giving a saving in excess of €1,000.

The programme commencing 23rd May '20 is now fully booked. Due to demand, another programme commencing 13th June '20 has been scheduled.

Fees for the programme commencing 13th June are payable as follows;

A deposit of  €1,320 payable to MBE Skillnet on or before 5th June '20. 

Second payment of €520 payable to MBE Skillnet on or before 25th September '20

Final Payment of €800 payable to MBE Skillnet on or before 29th January 2021

What other information can I find out about the Level 7 BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies?

You can gain this DCYA approved level 7 BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies, in just 14 months whilst you are working, if you currently hold a QQI ECCE Level 6 award. You can join over 500 past pupils who have achieved this degree, studying in your own time through blended learning, with a combination of tutorial seminars and online learning. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a level 7 degree that is accessible, affordable and achievable. To discover more about this degree, visit the course information page here

Are there other programmes I can apply for funding for?

If you are an employer or employee, you can apply to MBE Skillnet for funding to upskill and study any one of the following programmes.

MA Early Childhood Studies - starting October

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies - starts June & October

Montessori Teaching - starts May

Special Needs Assisting - QQI Level 5 - start today

Special Needs Assisting - QQI Level 6 - start today

Therapeutic Play Skills - QQI Level 6 - start today

ECCE QQI Level 6 - start today

What do I do next to enrol on the level 7 starting June 13th '20?

You need to do 3 things.

1. To avail of funding from MBE Skillnet, you or your employer need to become a member. You can do this by emailing who will help you to complete your membership.

2. You need to enroll with Portobello Institute and can do this by contacting Jenny Matteazzi by email or call Jenny on 01-8920031. We are working remotely at this time.

2. You will be required to pay your deposit of €1,320 equal to 50% by Friday 5th June

Who is MBE Skillnet?

Midland Border East Skillnet is co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded by the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills. You do not have to be from the Midlands area to avail of this funding.

Contacting Us

If you would like to find out more about this or any of the courses available in Portobello Institute, please email or call Jenny on 018920031 - we are working remotely at this time and are available to support you with your queries.

Contacting MBE Skillnet

If you would like further information on funding available or how to become a member of MBE Skillnet, you can call Michael on 087 3594116 or email - they are working remotely at this time.



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