Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and Child Care Regulations (The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Amendments) Regulations 2016
The legal requirements for Childminders in Ireland are set out in the Child Care Act 1991 and Pre-School Services Regulations (2016), made under Part VII of the Act. These requirements apply to all pre-school services catering for children under the age of 6, who are not attending primary school. They cover statutory notification to and inspection by the Tusla on quality of care, premises, safety, management and staffing.
According to the regulations, a Childminder can single-handedly offer
- A pre-school service, including full day or overnight,
- For pre-school age children,
- In the Childminder’s home for more than 2 hours per day.
A Childminder should:
- Have a telephone and a second person available to cope with emergencies.
- Look after no more than 5 pre-school children, including her/his own pre-school children.
- No more than two children should be less than 15 months old except for multiple birth or siblings.
A childminder who is minding more than 3 pre-school children at any one time comes under these regulations and is legally obliged to make a Statutory Notification to the local Pre-school Inspection Service of Tusla. See ‘About Childminding’ tab and Statutory Notification section.
National Guidelines for Childminders
The Guidelines outline the legislation in relation to childminders and details notification system.
The Guidelines include:
- Nationally agreed Guidelines for quality childminding practice
- Detailed information on Statutory Notification to Tusla and Voluntary Notification to City/ County Childcare Committee;
- Services provided to childminders by the City/County Childcare Committees and Childminding Ireland
- Contact details of relevant organisations.
To access a full version of the National Guidelines for Childminders, please click on the link below:
Under the Child Care Act 1991, a person minding more than three pre-school children from different families is obliged to notify Tusla Pre-school Inspection Service of her/his childminding service, with the exception of those who mind multiple birth children or siblings. A ‘pre-school child’ is a child who is under six years of age and who is not attending a national school or a school providing education similar to a national school.
What is the purpose of Notification?
Statutory Notification is intended to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of pre-school children, to promote the development of pre-school children, and to ensure compliance with the Regulations made under Part VII of the Childcare Act. The Pre-school Inspector inspects the Childminding service and assists the Childminder to reach regulatory standards.
How do I notify in Co. Longford?
To make a Statutory Notification in Longford, please call your local Tusla office and ask to speak to a local pre-school inspector. Then ask for the Notification Form to be sent to you, along with the Explanatory Guide to Notification and Inspection. The annual notification fee is currently €40.