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Professional Development

Quality supports are offered to early year’s services and practitioners in a number of ways including accessing both accredited and local training which supports professional development and support visits by our development team.

Professional development for practitioners

A key objective of First 5 is to improve Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for all those who work in early learning and care and school-age childcare settings.


All training provided is linked to the National Quality Frameworks of both Síolta and Aistear and to the requirements for pre-school inspections under Regulation 5 of the Pre-school Regulations. These frameworks guide practitioners in their practice ensuring quality learning experiences are provided for the early year’s child.

Better  Start provides a Quality Development  Service to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) providers. It achieves this by using Síolta, The National Quality Framework for Early ChildhoodEducation and AistearThe National Early Years Curriculum Framework.   Information for Service Providers

Early Years qualifications

DYCA 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 on the Department of Children Equality Disability Integration and Youth (DCEDIY)  website Early Years Qualification List

  • All staff in Early Years services working with children will need a minimum of a full QQI (Fetac) Level 5 qualification in ECCE.
  • All Preschool (ECCE) Room Leaders will need a minimum of a full QQI (Fetac) Level 6 qualification in ECCE. 

Other qualification requirements:

  • Child protection training: All early years workers will be required to have completed Child Protection Training and keep it updated every two years .
  • First Aid: There must be at least one certified first aid person on the premises at all times.( Reg  6).First aid certificates need to be updated every two years.  Best practice is that all early years workers be trained in First Aid.
  • Manual handling- all early years practitioners must renew at least every three years or if their role changes significantly during this time- Safety, Health and Welfare at work Regulations (General Application) 2007 Chapter 4 Part 2
  • Fire Safety- all early years practitioners should be trained in using fire equipment- Section 18(2) of the Fire Services Act 1981 & 2003 as well as advised under the Fire Safety in Preschools guide 1999.
  • Food Handling – all early years practitioners providing food for children must have completed the primary food hygiene course.
  • Garda Vetting: All early years workers must have Garda vetting prior to starting work ( Reg 8.2 and Standard operating Procedures on Garda Vetting)

Childcare Services may contact the Childcare Committee for information about the availability of relevant courses for accredited and mandatory training.