The Irish National Framework of Qualifications, established in 2003, is a framework through which all learning achievements may be measured and related to each other in a coherent way.

The many different types and sizes of qualifications included in the NFQ are organised based on their level of knowledge, skill and competence. Because all NFQ qualifications are quality assured, learners can be confident that they will be recognised at home and abroad.

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has a responsibility to develop, promote and maintain the Irish NFQ. QQI also facilitates the recognition of foreign qualifications.

The list of Early Years qualifications recognised for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the Regulations and DCYA Childcare Programmes Contracts can be found by clicking the link below:


Learner Fund

Learner Fund Bursary – Summer/Autumn 2018- APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) will re-open the Learner Fund Bursary to Early Years practitioners who are new graduates of a recognised Early Childhood Education and Care degree programme. The local City/County Childcare Committees (CCC) will process and appraise Learner Fund Bursary applications. Applications will open earlier than previously to maximise the number of graduates who can apply.

  1. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be on the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list.
  2. The award must be placed at level 7/8/9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and was achieved in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, or in the 2017/2018 academic year.
  3. The bursary amount will be €750
  4. The qualification must be a full, major award; the bursary will not be paid in respect of partially completed awards.
  5. A letter of eligibility to practice from DCYA stating that the applicant may work as an ECCE room leader at the higher capitation rate can also be accepted
  6. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be that which qualifies the person to work in the Early Years sector (and is at least level 7 on the NFQ)
  7. Applicants may only apply once and cannot be granted the Learner Fund bursary for a second time if they have already received it before
  8. The applicant cannot have received any public funding in support of their completing the award relating to this application
  9. The bursary is only available to experienced practitioners who were working in a Tusla registered Early Years’ Service prior to beginning their course.
  10. Applicants must be currently working in a Tusla registered Early Years’ Service.
  11. Applicants can apply with a full transcript of the completed degree in lieu of a graduating certificate. A full transcript; can be obtained from the educational institution and must show clearly that the learner has been awarded the full degree.  Screenshots or downloads from student accounts / portals will cannot be accepted.
  12. Late or incomplete applications; will not be accepted.
  13. Decision of the CCC is final and cannot be appealed.

Timeframe for applications:

20th August Call for applications open by CCCs


28th September All forms must be fully completed and returned BY POST OR BY HAND to your local CCC no later than 5PM on Friday 28th September 2018

Complete and return the application form below:

Learner Fund Bursary Autumn 2018 Application Form Final

Aistear Síolta initiative

The National Síolta Aistear Initiative (NSAI) has been developed to provide central support and coordination of Síolta and Aistear implementation across the early childhood sector. The initiative has two strands. The first will focus on Síolta, including the introduction of Síolta awareness raising workshops and the expansion of the Síolta Quality Assurance Programme (QAP). The second strand relates to Aistear and will see the development of workshops and coaching to support practitioners to use Aistear in their setting. Carlow CCC under the NSAI offer the following support to Early years services in Carlow:

  • The Síolta Aistear Practice Guide Introductory Workshop
  • Síolta awareness raising workshops
  • Aistear Workshops
  • Aistear Síolta Mentor support
  • Síolta Quality Awareness Programme (QAP)

Higher Education

Level 7

Carlow IT offer a Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education & Care.

This programme is a collaborative action between Carlow & Kilkenny County Childcare Committees, Carlow/Kilkenny Skillnets, and IT Carlow. The programme is specifically designed to cater for the needs of local early year’s services following training needs analysis carried out in both counties.

Carlow CCC are happy to announce that the one year Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education  & Care will commence in IT Carlow in September 2018.  This programme will be part funded again in 2018/19 by SkillNet.

Level 8

Carlow IT also offer a BA Honours in Early Childhood Education & Care and a Higher Diploma of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Children require high-quality education and care during their formative years to reach their unique potential and this is the focus of this programme, covering areas such as education and play; child development and education; social environment; health; hygiene; nutrition; safety; communication; management and personal and professional development.

Level 9

Carlow CCC are very happy to announce that year one of the Masters of Arts in Leadership in Early Years Education and Care (Level 9) will commence in IT Carlow in September 2018. In recognition of the commitment to continuing professional development from practitioners in Co. Carlow and Co. Kilkenny, Carlow CCC and Kilkenny CCC have worked with Carlow/Kilkenny Skillnets to secure funding which will part fund this Masters programme.

Please see links below for an information flyer, an application form and a timeline. The application form must be returned before the closing date. This is an excellent opportunity for those working in the Early Years sector in Co. Carlow and Co. Kilkenny to further their professional development to Master level.

Thanks to the part funding from Carlow/Kilkenny Skillnet this programme will only cost €1,950 per candidate for 2018/2019 academic year.

Further Education

Level 5 / Level 6

This course/programme prepares students to work with young children aged 0 – 6 in a variety of childcare settings. The award will provide participants with skills, knowledge and competence to work as a childcare professional within the childcare and early education sector.

CE Scheme

Since 2013 there is a CE Childcare Training and Development Programme for CE participants who wish to pursue a career in childcare.  It is a 3-year programme of formal learning and work experience leading to an NFQ Level 5 or 6 qualification in early childhood care and education.

Carlow Early Years Training Scheme can be contacted on 059-9134996.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Training 

Following the development of the AIM model and launch of AIM on June 15th, 2016.

An element of the universal supports (Levels 1-3) for the early years sector includes a new Inclusion Charter underpinned by updated Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Guidelines for Early Childhood Care and Education. 

 Funding has been made available under the AIM programme to provide for training for all service providers on the guidelines and charter

The training available will be a 15hr programme on Equality Diversity and Inclusion.  

 This training will be delivered free of charge by Carlow CCC in Co. Carlow.

 Each service may send two participants to attend this training if they wish.

If you are interested in undertaking this training please contact Carlow CCC on 059-9140244.

 Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and are limited per cohort

Child Protection Training

Children First, National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, applies to all those working in a voluntary or paid capacity with children and families. It outlines the roles and responsibilities in relation to recognising, responding and reporting child protection and welfare concerns.

Carlow County Childcare Committee has responsibility for the delivery of Tusla’s Always Children First Child Protection training in the Early Years sector in Carlow.  This is the standard certified Child Protection training module for the Early Years sector and it is the training which the Tusla Early Years Inspectors will require when training becomes part of the inspection process. Áine Gahan, Siobhán Cummins and Michelle Durkin are accredited to deliver this training.  

Carlow County Childcare Committee delivers a full (6 hour) training programme. Refresher Training (3.5 hours) is available to participants who have completed the full training post-2014.

For more information on any of our upcoming Child Protection Training, please see the Training section of our Website or call us on 059-9140244.

Ireland’s National Child Protection and Welfare Guidance Training

It is recommended that everyone involved in early years services including staff, board members and volunteers complete the Tusla Children First e-learning programme