“I was looking for guidance, insurance and networking and I found all that in the one package. The person on the phone was great, I registered quickly, got all the information I needed and the Team are always available to help out if needed. Having been a childminder for over 10 years and still currently part-time, I secured a few enquiries through the CM network but i’m also in touch with fellow childminders. I am not an Irish National and still need help with the relevant laws, contracts & other important details – but also need encouragement and feeling less alone sometimes.”
BECOMING A CHILDMINDER
- Decide how you want to run your Childminding service, full-time or part-time? What will your rates be? How many children can you mind?
- Get your home ready – Child proof the house and make sure you have enough toys and equipment!
- Find out if you should register with, Tusla or if you can notify your local Childcare Committee.
- You must register with Revenue as self-employed within a year of starting.
- Get Garda Vetting as a Childminder. Parents expect it and evidence of Garda Vetting for Childminding is a mandatory requirement for registration with Tusla.
- Make sure you have appropriate insurance.
- Prepare simple advertising – advertise on Childminding Ireland’s website (free to members) or put a small ad in local shops, toddler groups or on Facebook. But remember, word of mouth often works best!
- Develop a working agreement to use with parents to help your arrangements run smoothly.
- Hold interviews with parents. Use your working agreement to discuss the care needed and your approach to managing your service.
- Arrange for the child or children to come for some settling in visits before you sign an agreement and get going properly.
In the Child Care Act 1991 Early Years Services Regulations 2016, childminding is defined as:
‘a pre-school service …by a person who single-handedly takes care of pre-school children….’
The Child Care Act 1991 has been amended to also include School age Childcare Regulations 2018 , and childminding services are also defined as:
‘a school age service …by a person who single-handedly takes care of school age children….’
A pre-school child is defined as being under six years of age, and not attending a national school or equivalent. A school age child is attending school.
Your childminding service MUST be registered with Tusla if you are minding more than 6 mixed aged children at any one time. A childminder who is required to register should apply to register as a pre-school childminder if they care for more pre-school children than school age children, and as a school age childminder if they care for more school age children than pre-school children.
However, your Childminding Service is exempt and you are NOT required to register with TUSLA, if you care for:
- 3 or less unrelated pre-school children or
- Pre-school children from the same family only
- 6 or less school age only children
- 6 or less mixed age children (provided no more than 3 are pre-school)
For more information on Tusla’s registration requirements for numbers of children minded, click here.
Tailored Childminding insurance means peace of mind that you are appropriately insured to run your Childminding business.
As a Member you are eligible to join the Childminding Ireland Group Insurance Scheme and you will benefit from reduced premium costs. Insurance is a requirement for Membership because it provides protection for childminders and reassurance for parents.
To access the special discounted rate of €240 for childminding insurance for Childminding Ireland members, contact Arachas (previously Kidd Insurance) on 01 213 5000.
The Group Scheme Insurance policy covers you to mind up to 6 children at any one time (a maximum of 5 pre-school children) subject to compliance with regulations. This insurance covers childminders to take minded children on outings. To learn more about the benefits of this childminding insurance click here.
To understand who you should notify from an insurance point of view and to be aware of what the insurance covers, check out the answers to these and other frequently asked questions here.
The Childminding Ireland Group Insurance Scheme is run by our partners Arachas (previously Kidd Insurances) and underwritten by Allianz.
For more details, click here to read Allianz’s Childminders Insurance Policy, Insurance Product Information Document.
Allianz have issued guidelines for childminders insured under the Childminding Ireland Group Insurance Scheme regarding the Safe Use of Bouncy Castles
Childminding Ireland strongly recommends that Members read these guidelines.
CHILD PROTECTION AND GARDA VETTING
What is Garda Vetting?
By law, only Tusla registered childminders must have Garda vetting; this extends to their assistants/stand–ins and adults over 18 living in the home. Since January 2015, Garda Vetting has been adopted as a requirement for membership of Childminding Ireland as best practice.
A vetting statement will show applicants if there are any convictions or prosecutions pending or completed recorded against them in the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere.
Barnardos’ Vetting Service processes childminder applications for Garda vetting for free, unless research is needed in other countries where you have lived for more than 6 months.
To apply, you must contact them directly, click here to be redirected.
In 6-8 weeks, Barnardos will return a statement to you from the National Vetting Bureau with details of any conviction/prosecutions. Barnardos will only refer a disclosure to Tusla, where there is a concern about the welfare of children.
OUT OF HOURS
The Childminding Ireland Out of Hours support service is a confidential phone help line for childminders. Call 1890 917 008.
The Childminding Ireland Out of Hours support service is operated by volunteer, experienced childminders who have been childminding for over 10 years; they have also received specific support training.
The purpose of the service is to support childminders & guide them to an appropriate solution. It is an opportunity to discuss concerns with a fellow childminder.
This Out of Hours service operates every Wednesday and Thursday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and is for childminders who may not be in a position to ring the office during the day, or have an issue that they might not want to discuss while caring for children.
The Out of Hours phone number is 1890 917 008.
Childminders – Introduction
Childminders offer home-based childcare in the Childminder’s own home for preschool and school going children. It is personal, unique, adaptable and family friendly. Childminders play a vital role in supporting families: an estimated 76,000 children are cared for by professional Childminders in Ireland according to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2016.
Here you will find the best, most relevant and updated information on how to set up and run your Childminding Service. We guide you through what is involved in becoming a Childminder as well as registration with Tusla or notification to your local Childcare Committee.
We provide information on Childcare Tax Relief for Childminders and how to get Garda Vetted as a Childminder.
We also explain the benefits of joining Childminding Ireland. Find out about the Free Preschool Scheme as well as the national early years’ frameworks, Aistear & Síolta.
You will find useful links to all the relevant legislation and lots of useful resources.