What is a Childminder?
A Childminder cares for a small group of children of mixed ages in the childminder’s own home. 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 her/his terms with parents. The child’s welfare must be the prime consideration of the Childminder. Childminders have sole responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of each child entrusted to their care.
HOW LONGFORD CCC SUPPORTS CHILDMINDERS
Longford County Childcare Committee offer a range of supports to all existing and potential Childminders. All Childminders and intending childminders are encouraged to engage with the Longford CCC Childminding Development Officer, Clare Snediker. To connect with Longford CCC and be added to the mailing database, please fill in the Childminder Connect form.
What supports do Longford CCC offer to Childminders:
- Updates on the National Action Plan for Childminding
- Networking events to link in with other childminders from your locality
- Support in setting up a childminding service in your own home
- Support in accessing grants and funding i.e. National Childminding Development Grant etc.
- Information on Tax Relief and PRSI Benefits for Childminders
- Business supports i.e. registering with Revenue, Setting your Fees, Marketing etc.
- Access to training and information i.e. Paediatric First Aid, Fire Safety, and Always Children First Training etc.
- Information on current legislation and any changes in law.
Certain categories of Childminders are legally obliged to register their childminding service with Tusla and are subject to Inspection: Childminders who wish to care for 4 or more preschool children or care for 7 or more school age children or a mix of both.
Who are Tusla?
TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency, are the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children.
Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate is the independent statutory regulator of Early Years Services in Ireland. Certain categories of Childminders are legally obliged to Register with Tusla that they are providing a childminding service, while others are not obliged to register. This is to ensure that
children attending Childminding Services are safe, receive appropriate care and have a positive experience where they can develop and learn in a quality service.
Who is obliged to register with Tusla?
• Childminders who wish to care for 4 or more preschool children (only preschool children)
• Childminders who wish to care for 7 or more school age children (only school age children)
• Childminders who care for a mix of preschool and school age children, i.e. if caring for 4 or more preschool children and a small number of school age children or 7 or more school age children and a small number of preschool children
If a Childminder wishes to register their service with Tusla, it is a legal requirement that they must apply at least 3 months in advance of minding 4 or more children.
In relation to Preschool age children: A Childminder should look after no more than 5 preschool children (birth – 6 years). Childminders who care for 4 or more preschool children are legally required to register their childminding service with Tusla prior to caring for the 4th minded child.
In relation to School Age Childcare: If a Childminder cares for school age children only, the Childminder can care for up to 12 children in the Childminder’s home. A Childminder can care for up to 6 school age children without having to register with Tusla, however the care of 7 or more schoolage children requires such Childminders to register their childminding service with Tusla.
Childminders who care for a mix of preschool and school age children: The maximum numbers of each that a Childminder can care for at the same time is as follows:
(All scenarios in the table below will require a Childminder to register their service with Tusla. See
https://www.tusla.ie/services/preschool-services/new-providers/ for further details.)