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


DYCA has published a list of qualifications that meet the regulatory requirements for working in the Early Years sector in Ireland.

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. The list can be viewed here.

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 (especially home address and email address).
4.    Please sign the application form (unsigned forms cannot be accepted.

Please note the following:

•    Applications can only be accepted from the individual who holds the qualification to be assessed and cannot be accepted from a third party (such as an employer or prospective employer)
•    Information about the status of an application cannot be provided to a third party
•    If approved, your qualification may be added to the published list
•    DCYA may also issue a Letter of Eligibility to Practice in respect of some successful applications

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 here.

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

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


Workforce Development Plan

Work will begin to be carried out in May 2019 on the Workforce Development Plan, the Terms of Reference of which can be found here.