Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has signed two amending Regulations in relation to the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) sector.
The amendments will allow for the streamlining of the process of re-registration for ELC and SAC services which will result in a significant reduction in administration for services. In particular, it will benefit the approximately 4,000 ELC services that are required to re-register at the end of 2022.
Previously there was no difference in the level of administration involved in both the initial registration and the re-registration process – the processes were identical. However, the new process permits services to re-register without having to re-submit all of the documentation provided at registration. Instead, providers will be required to sign a declaration confirming the details of the service and will only be required to submit supporting documentation in relation to proof of insurance and evidence of Garda Vetting.
The regulatory amendment also introduces a statutory requirement for services to display a certificate of registration in a prominent position in the setting from January 2023. This will ensure that registration details for services are clearly visible to parents in the setting. This change will take effect from January 2023. However, Tusla will commence issuing certificates over the course of 2022, and services are encouraged to display their certificate once they receive it and in advance of the statutory deadline.
Announcing the changes, Minister O’Gorman said:
“I am delighted to announce this positive reform to how we manage the registration of early learning and care and school age childcare services. Through this change we can help to reduce some of the administration associated with regulation without impacting quality. The initial registration process and the ongoing Tusla inspection programme ensure that ELC and SAC services are safe, fit for purpose and meet quality standards. We are now streamlining re-registration to ensure it fits more appropriately within that quality assurance process, adding value to the system already in place without adding any unnecessary layers of administration.”
“I am also very happy to announce that from January 2023, all services will be legally required to display their certificate of registration in the setting. This will ensure that important information regarding a service registration, which is already available on the Tusla website, will also be available in the setting. This is an important information-sharing exercise for parents.”
“These changes are the first steps in a wider regulatory reform programme for the ELC and SAC sector which includes a review of the ELC Regulations with a view to enhancing the powers of the Regulator, the introduction of comprehensive school age childcare regulations and the extension of regulation to all paid, non-relative, childminders. I look forward to working with the sector in the coming years to bring these important changes about.”