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Early Years (Pre-school) Regulations and DCYA Childcare Programmes Qualification Requirements

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) has published a list of qualifications that meet the regulatory requirements for working in the Early Years sector in Ireland.  The list can be viewed here.

This list contains all qualifications which have been approved by DCYA.  It also sets out the appropriate level of DCYA approval (i.e. meets regulatory requirements; eligible for Room Leader - standard capitation; eligible for Room Leader - higher capitation).  If your qualification is on the list you do not need to apply to DCYA for qualifications recognition.

If your qualification does not appear on the list you may apply to have it assessed for approval by taking the following steps:

1.    Download the application form here.
2.    Supply all information and supporting documentation that is requested.
3.    Provide clear contact details.

Please note the following:

•    If approved, your qualification may be added to the published list.
•    Applications can only be accepted from the individual who holds the qualification to be assessed.
•    Information about the status of an application cannot be provided to a third party.

DCYA does not provide advice on qualification levels.

For information on where your qualification is placed on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications), please check with QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) on their website.

For international qualifications, QQI operates the Irish NARIC.  This shows compatibility between Irish and international qualification levels and can be accessed here: Naric Ireland

Further information on the Early Years (Pre-school) Regulations, qualification requirements and the qualifications recognition process can be found here.

DCYA is currently testing a trial searchable database. (NB as this database is not yet finally approved, information may contain some errors.  If you have any questions in relation to the information it has provided please contact

Survey of Early Years Practitioners:

For your Information, the Department of Education and Skills has published its 'Survey of Early Years Practitioners: Consultation for the Review of Education and Training Programmes in Early Years (May 2016)

follow us on twitter skills to work Supporting SMEs Be Winter Ready The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme