Qualifications

The Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) 2016 regulations were implemented on a phased basis on June 30th 2016. Under these regulations, there has been an update in regards to the minimal level of qualification required to work directly with children in an Early Years setting

Minimum Qualification Requirement

Under the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 all staff working directly with children must hold a minimum of QQI level 5 award in Early Childhood Care and Education. This does not apply to anyone working in the sector who signed the grandfathering clause before 30th June 2016 which states that he/she intends to retire from employment in an Early Years’ Service before 1st September 2021.

QQI level 5 childcare major award

This award consists of 8 components of these 4 are mandatory and the student may chose 4 other relevant components at QQI Level 5 in order to achieve QQI Level 5 Major award. The total credit value required for this certificate is 120. This will be achieved by completing the Components for Level 5 which are on the list below.

QQI Level 6 childcare major award

If you are providing the ECCE scheme all ECCE room leaders must hold a minimum QQI Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education (or equivalent) since December 2016. This is a requirement of the ECCE contract. As with the QQI Level 5 the Major award in QQI level 6 requires a person to have a number of mandatory components and elective components. QQI level 6 requires for 3 mandatory components and the total credit value required for this certificate is 120 credits This will be achieved by completing the Components for level 6 are on the list below. 

Owners and Managers are advised to ensure their staff have the appropriate qualifications.

For further information on completion of components or for advanced studies please see the National Framework of Qualifications.  

Early Years DCEDIY Recognised Qualifications

The Early Years DCEDIY Recognised Qualifications list shows all qualifications which have been approved by DCEDIY for work in the Early Years sector in Ireland to date. It also sets out the appropriate level of DCEDIY approval (meets regulatory requirements; eligible for Room Leader – Standard; eligible for Room Leader – Higher Capitation). Search the database for the Early Years DCEDIY Recognised Qualifications list

Where a qualification is not published on the list of DCEDIY Early Years Recognised Qualifications but the holder considers it to be an appropriate Major Award at or above Level 5 on the NFQ or equivalent, they can apply to have their qualification assessed for approval. Downloaded the application form for qualifications assessment

If you are not sure where your qualification is placed on the Irish NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications), you should check with QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland). We recommend that you first check the QQI website; most people will find the information they need there. For international qualifications, QQI operate the Irish NARIC which shows compatibility between Irish and international qualification levels: Naric Ireland

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