Continuous Professional Development

First 5 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.

During the Covid -19 emergency period many practitioners will have an opportunity to undertake online training or development activities to help them meet the demands of their professional roles.

For more information: First 5 CPD

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.

The full Enactment of the Children First Act (2015) has resulted in significant changes for those employed in the Early Years Sector.  With a legal responsibility for organisations to have a Child Safeguarding Statement in place and the identification of those employed in Early Years Services as Mandated Persons, the Always Children First Foundation Module has been updated to reflect these and other important changes.  Trainers from Carlow County Childcare Committee have completed their training and are now ready to roll out the updated module to Early Years Providers and in particular, to Designated Liaison Persons (DLP) and Deputy Designated Liaison Persons (DDLP).   A prerequisite of attending this training is that participants have completed the Tusla E Learning Children First Programme and CCC’s will ask that participants send a copy of their cert to the CCC prior to attending the training.

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 programm

Children First Child Protection Revision Webinar

This webinar was developed to highlight the key elements of the face-to-face Always Children First Foundation training while it is on hold due to current public health advice. Its purpose is to serve as an interim revision resource for ELC practitioners, SAC practitioners and Childminders.

Follow Link:

Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF) eLearning Programme

The first three modules of the  Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF) eLearning programme are now available to access on the TUSLA website;

Visit: QRF E-Learning Programme

The aim and purpose of this QRF eLearning programme is to:

  • Assist registered providers and staff of early years services to prepare for a Tusla early years inspection.
  • Support early years professionals to meet the requirements of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.
  • This eLearning programme may be used as a resource by other professionals in the early years sector; it identifies what quality early years provision looks like in practice and as such may also be of interest to parents and guardians.

The Reason for Developing this eLearning programme:

The QRF  eLearning programme was developed following consultation with the early years sector in 2017/ 2018 in relation to the supports identified to support compliance with the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.  The Quality and Regulatory Framework eLearning programme is an additional support to the Quality and Regulatory Framework document, which has been circulated to the sector and available to download from Tusla website.  The programme also supports the Guidelines to Developing Policies and Procedures in Early Childhood Education and Care Settings a Practical Guide which were also circulated to all registered early years providers in Autumn 2018 and January 2019 and is also available to download from Tusla website.

Access the eLearning programme now:

Tusla Early Years Inspectorate, invite you and your staff to log on to access the programme, we hope you find this eLearning programme beneficial as you continue to work to provide quality early learning and care experiences in Tusla registered early years services.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Training 

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 and will be delivered free of charge by Carlow CCC, contact 059 9140244 for more information.

First Aid Responder

Under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, a new regulatory requirement will come into force from June 1st, 2020.  From this date under Regulation 25, there must be a person(s) who has trained in FAR (First Aid Response) with a trainer approved by the Pre- Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) immediately available to children attending the service.

To support the sector to meet this requirement services can claim back the cost of one staff member attending this training.

The training: on completion of this 3-day/18 hr course, the First Aid Responder will be equipped with the necessary practical skills, knowledge and confidence to give effective life support, diagnose and treat injuries or illness, and maintain care and comfort of a patient who has become suddenly ill or injured in the workplace or elsewhere until the arrival of emergency medical services.

Services can claim back the cost of one person attending FAR (either full or refresher) on behalf of your service.  To do this is easy; you must submit the attached application form with a copy of the FAR certificate and a receipt for the cost of the course. The maximum you can claim is €225 per full course and €175 per refresher course.

To apply for the FAR Reimbursement fund, a registered service/ registered childminder must:

  • Have an employee who has completed or have themselves completed, either the full 18 hours FAR course or the 12 hours Refresher FAR course since January 1st, 2019.
  • Have paid for the employee / registered childminder to participate in the training.
  • Must submit a hard copy of the application form, along with a copy of the receipt for training and a copy of the PHECC accredited FAR certificate.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, Tusla and Dept of Children and Youth Affairs have agreed to extend the timeframe to meet this regulatory requirement to the end of February 2021.

 In addition, for those staff that already have FAR certification which has now expired or is due to expire – their certificates will remain valid until courses are up and running again.

The DCYA had committed to providing a subsidy for the training of one staff member, per childcare service. This was supposed to have finished by the original deadline of 1 June 2020. In light of Tusla’s statement, the DCYA are extending the subsidy eligibility to the end of 2020.

Online training:

Owing to the current Covid-19 restrictions, PHECC have agreed that the theory part of the FAR training course can be delivered as an online component. PHECC have stipulated that the online theory training will be:

  • For the short term only and will be limited to the duration of the current Covid-19 situation.
  • Does not replace the whole course, is for FAR theory only.
  • Full certification cannot come from this part of the training.
  • Practicals and assessment should be on hold until the current Covid-19 situation is over.
  • The online session must be live and the trainer must ensure that they can document that participants engaged fully.
  • There will be a limit of participants to 8 as in the face-to-face course


Such a significant departure from normal standards shall be limited to the duration of the current Covid-19 crisis.

Things to consider

Before undertaking online FAR theory training Childcare Providers should ensure the following:

  • That the training is being offered by a PHECC Approved Training Institution listed here.
  • That the company offering the online training can provide an interim certificate/letter as proof of completion of online theory training
  • That the company you choose to do the online training with will also be able to offer the practical part of the course as well as the assessment in a place and at a time that will suit you

There is no obligation to undertake online training, services can opt to wait until the face-to-face courses are being offered and undertake the training in the normal way. However, the subsidy will only be available until the end of 2020 (see payment schedule on application form).

Claiming the partial subsidy:

On completion of the online theory training, services can apply for a maximum of €150 which represents 2/3 of the total subsidy or 2/3 of what you paid for the course, whichever is the lesser by completing the attached application form and submitting along with a receipt and a certificate/letter confirming that the participant has undertaken the full online theory course. On completion of the practical part of the course, the provider can apply for the remaining €75 by submitting their certificate.

To support services to meet their regulatory requirement of having one staff member trained in First Aid Response (FAR) by February 2021; the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) has extended and altered the FAR Reimbursement Fund which will fund one FAR first aid training place per registered early learning and care services / registered childminders to a maximum of €225 per full course or €175 per refresher course.

The local City/County Childcare Committees (CCC) will continue to process the FAR applications.

To apply for the FULL FAR Reimbursement Fund, a registered service or registered childminder must:

  • Have an employee who has completed or have themselves completed either the full 18 hours FAR course or the 12 hours Refresher FAR course since January 1st, 2019.
  • Have paid for the employee / registered childminder to participate in the training.
  • Submit a copy of the receipt for training and a copy of the PHECC accredited FAR certificate.

To apply for the PARTIAL FAR Reimbursement Fund, a registered service or registered childminder must:

  • Have an employee who has completed or have themselves completed either the two day online theory element of the full FAR course or the one day online theory element of the refresher FAR course since the Public Health restrictions have been put in place
  • Have paid for the employee / registered childminder to participate in the training.
  • Submit a copy of the receipt for training and a copy of the letter from the PHECC accredited trainer guaranteeing that the employee has secured a place for the practical element of the FAR course. In this instance a maximum of 2/3 of the Bursary will be paid with the remaining paid on receipt of a copy of the PHECC accredited FAR certificate

Timeframe for applications:


Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Application closing date (for payment in that quarter) 17th June 2020 18th September 2020 11th December 2020
Payment dates


24th June 2020 25th September 2020 18th December 2020



  • All forms must be fully completed and returned to your local CCC
  • Incomplete application forms will not be accepted.
  • All required documents must be attached to the application form.
  • Information provided by the applicant will only be used for the purpose it was intended and will be retained by the CCC for recording purposes.
  • The CCC will make the decision on funding and all decisions are final.
  • Funding will cease in 2020

To book a course please call a FAR trainer from

To make a claim for reimbursement please use the attached FAR Reimbursement Application Form blank Jan

LINC Training

The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme, LINC, is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award (Higher Education), that is designed to support the inclusion of children with additional needs in the early years. The course is offered for free to people working within early years education and is fully funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Once qualified, graduates will perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator within their early years setting.

The development of the programme is part of government response to local, national and international demands for high-quality education and training leading towards graduate pathways in the combined field of early childhood care and education (ECCE). The programme seeks to address the need for continuing professional development (CPD) in relation to the inclusion of children with additional needs.

LINC is a free (fully funded) higher education blended-learning programme designed for early years teachers, to promote the inclusion of children with additional needs. After completing the programme, graduates will carry out the role of Inclusion Coordinator and will also meet the educational requirement for room leader status. Once a qualified graduate is working within an early years setting as the INclusion COordinator, the setting will be entitled to an extra capitation payment of €2 per ECCE/CCS/TEC qualified child. Further information about the programme can be found by visiting the LINC programme website

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)

This programme aims to support you in becoming more familiar with Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and aid you and your team to effectively use the framework to develop and maintain a high-quality practice in all aspects of your service.

This training is a prerequisite for Aistear and Play CPD


The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018 and all organisations are responsible for ensuring that they are meeting their obligations under the GDPR.  The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) is offering complimentary online General Data Protection Regulation Training to all childcare services to support them in meeting their Data Protection obligations.

This training is designed and delivered by iHasco and is available at GDPR online training.

Disclaimer: DCYA holds no responsibility for the content of the course. It is at the discretion of each service whether they choose to complete the training. DCYA is not in a position to provide individual GDPR advice. Further details on GDPR and Data Protection can be found on the website of the Data Protection Commission: