FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions
How many children can I mind?
You can mind different children at different times. It is the number of minded children at any one time that counts.
- A pre-school child is a child who has not reached 6 years of age and who is not attending a primary school or any other school that provides similar service.
- School age children are children that have already started in National School, Secondary School, a private primary school, or are more than 6 years old.
- Babies are up to 15 months old.
- The law counts everyone under the age of 18 years as a child.
- Insurance companies may only count children up to 14 years old.
Under the Tusla Childcare Regulations
- If you are notified to the Tusla Pre-school officer, you can mind up to 5 pre-school children including your own preschoolers.
- Only two of these can be babies (up to 15 months old), except in exceptional circumstances, like minding triplets.
- You can also mind school children at the same time.
- If minding overnight, the maximum is 3 children under 12 months, or 5 children under 6 years, per minding adult.
Under the National Guidelines for Childminders
You can mind up to three unrelated preschool children (an exemption in the Child Care Act 1991).
- This is excluding your own pre-school children.
- You can also mind school age children.
If you mind no more than 3 children under the age of 18 at any one time you are encouraged to Voluntary Notify local City/County Childcare Committee to avail of Childminders’ Tax Relief Scheme.
Under local planning laws
If you mind more than 6 children of any age, including your own, you must get change of use planning permission from your local council.
- A home-based Childminding service is defined as having 6 or fewer children in home at one time by local authorities.
- If you have more than 6 children at one time, you must apply for permission to run a preschool/sessional service.
- This is due to traffic, water and sewage considerations.
- Then you may be liable for water rates as a business.
In rented accommodation
Local councils may allow tenants to mind up to 6 children at a time, including their own children, once the service is Tusla approved.
Private renters must get permission from the landlord/owner to mind children in a rented accommodation.
In either case, you should make sure that you have appropriate insurance to cover the service.
If minding overnight, the maximum is 3 children under 12 months of age or 5 children under 6 years of age per minding adult.
Currently, there are no regulations for the care of school age children. Therefore, it is recommended for a home based Childminder to follow the best practice guidelines in promoting quality childcare. Childminder can mind up to 5 school age children.
What happens if I choose to care for more than 3 pre-school children and forgot to notify the Tusla Preschool Officer of my services?
In this case you are in breach of National Childminding Guidelines (rev. edition August 2008) and Early Years Services Regulations (2016). Your childminding insurance may become invalid. Please note, that regulations are put in place to promote the best practice and assist you in providing services that encompass health, safety and wellbeing of all children in your care.
What is Voluntary Notification?
The Voluntary Notification is a process during which a Childminder notifies his/her City/County Childcare Committee of the services and agrees to work within the framework of the National Guidelines for Childminders. The childminder in return receives advice and support from the Childcare Committee including up to date information on trainings, funding and networking opportunities.
How to notify?
Contact Longford County Childcare Committee who will forward you the Childminders’ Support Pack.
What are the benefits of Voluntary Notification?
Voluntary notification allows you to have access to financial supports, such as Childminders’ Tax Exemption Scheme, Childminding Development Grant as well as a build-up of your social insurance record. Also, you will have up to date information on available training and workshops on a range of topics, access to a local childcare and local childminders’ networks and support organisations. Voluntary notified Childminders can promote services within childcare sector among many other benefits. For more detailed benefits of Voluntary Notification please contact Longford County Childcare Committee, Quality Support Officer at 043-3342505.
How do I apply for Garda Vetting?
Garda vetting for childminders is provided by the National Vetting Bureau. Contact info:
What training do I need to have to be a successful childminder?
Childminders are advised to complete the following training: Paediatric First Aid, and Always Children First Child Safeguarding Awareness Training.
Any training and workshops can greatly improve your knowledge in child development, curriculum planning and your business practice as a home based childminder. It can also increase your confidence and enhance quality services to children and their families in your care. For up to date training/workshop opportunities please see our training and events tab on the footer menu.
What policies and procedures should I have in place when starting my childminding service?
It is highly recommended that you would develop a Policy and Procedure Manual with the following policies in place. Please note that this is a sample list of recommended policies:
- Partnership with Parents
- Positive Behavior Management
- Health and Safety Policies, including Safety Statement
- Child Protection
Please refer to Childminding-Moving On booklet in our Childminder’s Support Pack to see samples of suggested Policies and Procedures.
Do I need to have childminding insurance?
It is highly advisable that you obtain childminding insurance on your home and your car.
- Home insurance – many insurance agencies will amend your existing home owners’ policy and include the care of children in your home. If you currently have home insurance, it is advisable that you consult your insurance provider.
- Childminding Ireland www.childminding.ie offers a separate insurance scheme which covers up to 6 children including childminders’ own children up to 14 years of age.
- Car – if you are transporting children in your own car, it is highly advisable to have an adequate insurance coverage as well.
Must I pay income tax?
All income should be declared to the Revenue Commissioners. Childminders earning €15,000.00 or less a year may avail of Childminders’ Tax Exemption Scheme.
What records should I keep?
It is recommended that you develop a record system/file and keep the following records:
You may also download our leaflet Organisational and Record Keeping Tips for Childminders