Minimum Qualifications to Work as an Early Years Professional

In accordance with The Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, all staff working with children must hold a minimum of a National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 5 qualification major award in early years education. Services participating in the ECCE scheme are required to have each ECCE room leader qualified at a minimum of an NFQ level 6 relevant qualification, or NFQ level 7 to avail of higher capitation.

DCEDIY Recognised Early Years Qualifications

A list of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) Recognised Early Years Qualifications that meet the minimum requirements has been published.

This list also sets out the qualifications that will be recognised for the purposes of the DCEDIY Childcare Programmes, in particular, that of the qualification requirement for the room leader in the ECCE programme and for a service to receive the ECCE Higher Capitation rate.

Qualification not on list?

Where a qualification is not published on the list of Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Early Years Recognised Qualifications but you consider it to be an appropriate major award at Level 5 on the NFQ or equivalent or higher, you can apply to have it assessed. If it is approved for recognition the details of the qualification will be added to the list of DCEDIY Early Years Recognised Qualifications.  For more info see: Recognition of an Early Years Qualification (