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Qualifications needed to work in the childcare sector:

From December 2016 all staff in early years services will need to have full QQI Level 5 Childcare qualification, and all Preschool (ECCE) Room Leaders will need a full QQI Level 6 Childcare qualification.

Please click here to find the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list as updated in February 2017.

Grandfathering Declaration    

There are some people who have been working with children for many years and who wish to be exempted from the new qualification requirements. As the purpose of upskilling is to boost quality in the best interests of children, it is only possible to do this in a very limited way. The Minister has agreed to waive the minimum QQI Level 5 requirement for a small number of staff who will be leaving the sector within the next 7 years. Individuals who expect to retire between September 2015 and September 2021 will not be required to meet the new qualification levels. If you will be due to retire in the coming years, and do not therefore wish to embark on a QQI Level 5 course, you can sign a ‘Grandfathering Declaration’ with your local CCC. This offers a temporary exemption from having to have the QQI Level 5 qualification, and is intended for those who will be retiring soon. Please note that this exemption only applies to the QQI Level 5 qualification requirement and not to the Level 6 requirement. Please contact Galway City and County Childcare Committee if you are planning to retire in the coming years and do not therefore wish to embark on a QQI Level 5 course.

DCYA Circular: Early Years Practitioners working in special needs pre-schools

DCYA Circular: Level 6 Diploma in Montessori Education

In-service training for childcare staff provided by Galway City and County Childcare Committee


  • Workshops: Relevant topics and Updates in the ECCE Sector
  • Management Training for Community/Voluntary Childcare Committees
  • Training for Childminders
  • Child protection training 
  • Aistear and Síolta
  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Guidelines


For more information please click here for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Qualifications section of the website

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