There is still a lot of confusion about qualification requirements from 2017 . As we know the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 requires all staff who work directly with children to be qualified to the minimum of QQI Level 5 in an approved Early Childhood Care and Education qualification. The following has been clarified with DCYA. Support workers (like an SNA from another agency) do not have to have to have the qualification. Their role is to provide extra support for in individual child . They are not in ratio and will work with the appropriate number of qualified staff. Vetting does apply Students and unqualified CE workers are similar to the above. They are “trainees” . They work alongside qualified staff and are not in ratio. Parents who volunteer to assist also fall into this category. We are double checking about other extra support paid staff. Some inspectors have confirmed with our clients that extra assistance can be employed in a room once they are not in ratio and that the appropriate qualified staff are in place. Others say the contrary so this question has been posed to DCYA for final clarification.