A childminder cares for a small group of children of mixed ages in a ‘home from home’ setting. Children are welcomed as individuals. They are offered affection and respect, and their developmental and recreational needs are met. Childminders offer a flexible service, tailored to each child, thereby helping parents and guardians to balance their work and family commitments. A childminder negotiates and agrees the terms with parents.
Notification- Statutory or Voluntary
Under the Child Care Act 1991, a person minding more than 3 pre-school children from different families is obliged to notify Tusla of the childminding service. A pre-school child is defined under the Act as a ‘child who is under 6 years of age and who is not attending a national school or a school providing education similar to a national school’.
Statutory Notification to Tusla (Child and Family Agency)
A childminder must provide specific information to Tusla as part of the notification process. This information is set out in the schedule to the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. A childminder should contact the local Tusla Pre-school Office to obtain a copy of the notification form. Tusla provides an advisory service and an inspection service for all childcare services, including childminders who are required by law to notify them. Tusla has a legal obligation to make information available to interested persons on pre-school services, including childminders who are obliged to notify.
Under the Child Care Act 1991 ( Early Years Services ) Regulations 2016, a childminder should look after not more than 5 pre-school children, including their own pre-school children. No more than 2 children less than 15 months old. Exceptions in relation to numbers under 15 months can be made for multiple births or siblings.
Childminders who are not obliged to notify to Tusla
A childminder is not obliged to inform the HSE in order to carry out a childminding service if the childminder is minding:
- children under the age of 6 years who are attending a national school or a school providing a similar educational programme, or
- pre-school children who are all from the same family or who are the children of the childminder’s relatives; or
- no more than 3 pre-school children who are from different families.
However a childminder might want to voluntarily notify Tusla that a service is being provided.
If you wish to voluntary notify with Longford CCC, do so by contacting one of our team members and they will send you out a Voluntary Notification Pack. This pack will include a Voluntary Notification Form and Self-evaluation Form, both of which much be completed and returned to Longford CCC.