LINC Programme







The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years programme LINC  is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award (Higher Education), which will now be required for staff in Early Years settings to perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator. The development of the programme is part of a government response to local, national and international demands for high quality education and training leading towards graduate pathways in the combined field of early childhood care and education (ECCE). Specifically, the programme seeks to address the need for continuing professional development (CPD) within the ECCE sector in Ireland in relation to the inclusion of children with disabilities The programme is based on a ‘blended model’ of delivery and addresses the ‘flexible learning’ requirements of the ECCE sector.

For more information please see the LINC programme website:



Only one application allowed per eligible setting.

Places will not be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

There is NO FEE to participate in this course.

Each participant will receive €200 towards expenses incurred.

Applications can only be completed using a DESKTOP or LAPTOP computer.

1. What do I need to apply?

You will need the following information in order to complete an application on behalf of your setting:

  • Setting details (Pobal reference number and contact information).

  • Candidate details (name; contact details, including personal email address and postal address; PPS number; date of birth, UL/Mary Immaculate College ID number if they attended either UL or MIC previously; highest qualification; and the last educational institute attended).

  • Full details of your candidate’s relevant qualification at Level 5 or above (name of educational institute; year started and completed; qualification level; award title).

  • A copy (scan/photo) of your candidate’s certificate.

You should be aware of our Data Protection and Data Collection Notice.

2. Who can apply?

  • Any early learning and care setting with a pre-school room that is contracted for any DCEDIY Early Years Programme can nominate someone for LINC. The setting manager can nominate themselves or any member of the setting’s staff.

  • To be eligible for the programme, candidates, at a minimum, must hold a level 5 major award in childcare.

  • Settings that already have a LINC student or graduate working in their setting can nominate another staff member to participate in LINC (only one applicant allowed per setting).

  • Random selection of eligible applicants will apply. Priority will be given to eligible applications in the following order:1. Settings that do not currently employ a LINC graduate /INCO/Current LINC Student.

    2. Settings that already employ a LINC graduate and have over 22 ECCE-aged children attending*.

    3. All other settings.

*As Registered with Pobal in September 2020

3. What happens next?

A confirmation email will be sent to both the applicant and setting upon successful submission of the application.  Please note that the confirmation email that is issued to the applicant will include all of the information that was submitted on the application so that they can review it, for completeness and accuracy.

The allocation of places is expected in early July, when notifications will be sent by email.

Please note: places will not be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

 Please see Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

All applicants must submit an application for 2021/22: applications from 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 or 2020/21 will not be carried forward

Applications can only be made on a PC (e.g. laptop or desktop) and not on a smartphone or tablet.

Click here to apply now



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