Montessori Alliance

Qualifications and the Early Childhood Care & Education Scheme

Posted by Administrator on April 22, 2013

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs have issued a circular which aims to bring clarity to the type of Montessori awards which are eligible for the ECCE scheme and for the higher capitation grant.  As you will see graduates from AMI, St. Nicholas, Portobello & MEC are mentioned and are separated into 3 groups.


1.                  Graduates of the Montessori College in Milltown, Dublin

2.                  Graduates from the Higher Diploma in Arts in Early Childhood Montessori Education run by St Nicholas Montessori College

3.                  Graduates from Diploma programmes in Montessori Education offered by Portobello College and Montessori Education Centre which pre-dated the colleges FETAC accreditation. 

‘These difficulties were identified in 2010.   In the absence of a workable solution, the D/CYA has decided that that anyone with these qualifications is giving an amnesty (once certain conditions are fulfilled) and allowed to qualify for the higher capitation rate (in the case of the 1st and 2nd category) and for the standard capitation rate (Montessori Diploma graduates).’ (DCYA April 2013)

Graduates of AMI from 2011 are still in limbo as the alignment of their award with the Irish National Framework has been postponed until the new agency dealing with awards, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has finished it’s evaluation.  On a positive note graduates of AMI up to and including 2009/2010 are eligible for the higher capitation rate.

Graduates of St Nicholas Higher Diploma in Arts in Early Childhood Montessori Education new programme at Level 8 award will qualify for the higher capitation rate.

Graduates from Portobello College, Montessori Education Centre  who deliver Level 6 programmes Montessori Education who graduated prior to 2006 and where their course was of, at least, a year’s duration are eligible for the standard capitation rate.

You’ll can access the full circular here

Progressive College clarified the issue surrounding their 6 Montessori Component Certificates (see below) with EYPU and these Certs are sufficient to work as a leader in the room under the ECCE scheme.  The named colleges above ran programmes prior to FETAC accreditation and that is what the circular is referring to.


‘Your query was referred to the Early Education Policy Unit as we provide advice and support to the Childcare Directorate of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on education related policy associated with the Free Preschool Year Scheme. The advent of the Common Awards Standards for Early Childhood Care and Education will not change the status of legacy awards made by FETAC prior to their introduction. For clarity, if a Preschool Leader has achieved a nationally accredited major award at level 5 in early childhood care and education (titles may vary) or above (or equivalent) then he/she will be eligible to deliver the Free Preschool Year.  The DCYA have accepted the completion of the 6 level 6 FETAC component awards in Montessori education as a suitable qualification and this will not be changed by the introduction of the Common Award Standards. – Maresa Duignan’



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