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.
Childminding as a Profession
If you enjoy working with children, why not consider becoming a Childminder?
Childminding can offer you an opportunity to:
• Earn a living by caring for other people’s children in your own home
• Become a self-employed Early Learning and Care / School Age Childcare provider
• Offer the National Childcare Scheme (NCS)
• Stay at home and care for your own children as well as caring for others
• Share in the care and development of children from birth to 14 years of age
• Avail of the Childcare Services Relief with Revenue
• Avail of information, networking and training supports from your local City / County Childcare Committee (CCC)
• Access the Childminding Development Grant and other funding opportunities
• Meet other Childminders in your area and get to know your local community
HOW CCCS SUPPORT CHILDMINDERS
CCCs support Childminders to:
• avail of relevant up to date childminding information
• develop appropriate Policies and Procedures
• access funding supports such as The Childminding Development Grant and Learner Fund Bursary for Childminders
• participate in local network opportunities with other Childminders
• avail of local training opportunities
• avail of the Childcare Services Relief with Revenue
• Voluntary Notify (if applicable)
• register with Tusla (if applicable)
• offer the National Childcare Scheme (if applicable)
• remove the isolation often experienced by Childminders
• connect with parents who are seeking childminding care
• have their names included on a public list of Childminders which is made available to parents
You can find your local CCC information at the following link: https://myccc.ie/
Childminders care for children in their own home. There are many childminding services who are not required to register with Tusla (see below). These Childminders may choose to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) or/and Childminding Ireland to avail of information, support, network and training opportunities and grants.
Childminders exempt from Tusla registration under SECTION 58L OF THE CHILDCARE ACT (1991) are as follows:
(a) the care of one or more children undertaken by a relative of the child or children or the spouse of such relative
(b) a person taking care of one or more children of the same family and no other such children (other than that person’s own such children) in that person’s home
(c) a person taking care of not more than 3 children of different families (other than that person’s own such children) in that person’s home.
A Childminder is exempt from registering with Tusla if they care for a mix of Early Years and School Age children (up to a maximum of 6 children) as set out below:
Childminders who are minding 3 or less children (in their own home) or who are legally exempt from registering with Tusla may choose to voluntarily notify that they are providing a childminding service by contacting their local CCC and avail of information, supports, network, training opportunities and grants.
CCCs who offer Voluntary Notification support Childminders to complete the process which considers the four nationally recognised core areas where certain requirements should be met by Childminders:
(i) Suitability of the person
The Childminder must be a person aged 18 or over who is genuinely interested in caring for children and is of a suitable character to do so.
(ii) Wellbeing of the Child
The Childminder must have a commitment to providing quality childcare which ensures that the wellbeing and development of the child is paramount.
(iii) Physical Environment
The Childminder’s home should provide a secure and happy environment in which the health, safety and welfare of the child is assured and in which the
developmental needs of the child are met.
(iv) Health & Safety
The Childminder must provide evidence that adequate health and safety procedures are in place.
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.)