Childcare Providers Information

Let’s Get Ready – Getting Ready to Return to your Early Years Service, Preschool and Childminder

Let’s get ready so childcare is fun and safe for everyone. The Department of Children & Youth Affairs has developed this short video to help parents, guardians and children know what to expect when pre-schools, early years services and childminders reopen from 29 June.

Watch a short video clip here

As children prepare to return to early learning and childcare services or make the move to pre-school and primary school for the first time, parents can be assured that there are a number of actions they can take at home to support these important transitions.

Find the link to these resources Here

National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it will replace all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.

Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.

The NCS Training Team have developed a series of training resources. A selection of Service Provider training videos are now available to all on the National Childcare Scheme’s official YouTube channel Here
In addition, 2 webinars have been recorded which demonstrate NCS Returns and Funding. The links to register to view the recordings is shown below.

The NCS Training Team have developed a series of video resources for parents/applicants and these may be of help for the application process and can also be viewed on the National Childcare Scheme’s YouTube channel Here

For further information relating to the National Childcare Scheme please visit the National Childcare Scheme

ECCE Information for Providers 2021

The Free Pre-school Year in the Early Childhood Care & Education Programme (ECCE) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to up to 2 years free preschool education before they start primary school.

For eligibility information please see Eligibility for ECCE

For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs

Fire and Planning Requirements for Early Years Services

In August Tusla issued Guidance on Fire & Planning Requirements for Early Years Services Re-Registration and Change of Circumstances Process.  For further information see Fire_and_Planning_Requirements_for_Early_Years_Services_Re_Registration

Childcare Regulations

Early Years is an overarching term that includes Preschool Services. Tusla, Child and Family Agency is responsible for inspecting preschools, play groups, day nursery, crèches, day-care, childminders and similar services which cater for children aged 0-6 years.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, published the Child Care Regulations (The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 on the 4th May 2016. These Regulations are effective on a phased basis from 30th June 2016. The 2016 Regulations provide for pre-school services, that is, those services catering for children under the age of 6 who are not attending primary school.

Part 12 of The Child and Family Agency Act amends the Child Care Act 1991(as inserted by section 92 of The Child and Family Agency Act) known as Part VIIA sets out the Supervision of Early Years Services.

For further information in relation to the childcare regulations see Tusla Child & Family Agency

Focused Inspection Tool

The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 require that all early years services in Ireland are required to strive for full compliance across all early years regulations, however it is accepted that at present there are areas that require greater focus and attention. Resulting from this, the Child and Family Agency introduced a revised model of Preschool Inspection.  Currently the primary scope of early years inspection will be the areas identified as requiring improvement; Governance, Welfare and Safety.  Below is a link to the Tusla website where providers can access the inspection tool to make themselves familiar with what the inspectorate are looking at when performing an inspection.

Focused Inspection Tool

Early Years Education Focused Inspection

Early-Years Education-focused Inspections (EYEI) are carried out in early-years services participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme – a programme which provides a period of free early childhood care and education for children before they start school.

During these inspections, the quality of the nature, range and appropriateness of the early educational experiences for children participating in the ECCE Programme is evaluated. The main activity of an EYEI inspection is the observation, by the inspector, of the processes and practices relating to children’s learning in one or more learning rooms or areas in the early-years setting.

At the end of each inspection the early-years practitioners and the owners/managers (where available) are given feedback on the quality of educational provision in the setting. Subsequently a written report is sent to the pre-school inspected outlining the inspection findings and providing advice as to how educational provision in the setting can be further developed or improved. The inspection report is published on the Department of Education and Skills website.

For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs