Draft Childminding Action Plan

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, launched the Draft Childminding Action Plan, for the purpose of public consultation. The Draft Action Plan sets out proposals for improving access to high quality and affordable early learning and care and school-age childcare through childminding.

As well as publishing the Draft Action Plan, the Minister also launched a public consultation process on the proposals.

A key benefit of the proposal to bring childminding into the scope of regulation is that it will allow parents who use childminders to access subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme, which will require use of Tusla-registered service providers. In this way the Draft Plan aims to support parental choice in type of provider of early learning and care and school-age childcare.

The Draft Action Plan mainly addresses childminders who work in their own homes, who are self-employed. It does not propose to regulate those who work in the children’s homes, who are regarded as employees of the children’s parents (who may be “nannies” or au pairs). The Draft Action Plan does, however, propose to develop resources in relation to the use of nannies or au pairs, including information for parents.

Please visit the DCYA Website Here for further information.

Information for Parents:

A childminder is a person who minds other people’s children in the childminder’s own home.

How do I find a childminder?

  • Contact TUSLA for a list of notified childminders
  • Contact Cork City Childcare for details of childminders in your area
  • Ask friends, relations or neighbours for recommendations
  • Look out for childminder’s advertisements
  • Advertise in your local area.

 Important questions to consider when selecting a Childminder:

  • Are they Garda Vetted?
  • Have they completed first aid training?
  • Do they have qualifications or experience in the Childcare field?
  • Do they own their own transport and will facilitate do pre-school drop offs?
  • How much do they charge; is it a day rate or hourly?
  • How many other children do they mind?
  • Do they have pets in the home?
  • Do they mind children in their home/ would they come to your home?
  • Can they provide you with written references?
  • What happens re. payment when you take holidays/they take holidays/ you are sick/they are sick/ bank holidays?
  • Do they provide the meals, or do you?
  • What is the procedure if you or my child has an accident or becomes ill?
  • Have they adequate home insurance?
  • Where will my child sleep?
  • Have you a behaviour management policy?
  • Will we have a written agreement specifying conditions?
  • What other people will be around my child i.e. family members, other children
  • How will they cater for my child’s settling in period i.e. how many days/hours?

Ensure that you always value and respect your Childminder, this can be achieved by:

  • Abiding by your written agreement
  • Being punctual
  • Not overstaying when collecting your child/children
  • Paying in full and on the agreed day
  • Discussing in advance any changes in agreements
  • Communicating concerns directly to the Childminder
  • If you need to end the arrangement, do so in a fair and positive way

Information for Childminders:

What we can support you with at Cork City Childcare:

  • Setting up a Childminding Service
  • Ongoing support for established Childminders
  • Information on available financial supports e.g. Childminding Development Grant
  • Advertising your service to parents
  • Telephone/Email communication for information support
  • Support around the voluntary notification process or registration with TUSLA
  • Information on tax exemption or eligibility
  • Guidance on developing policies & procedures
  • Training Opportunities
  • Informed support around concerns that you may come up against in your daily work

The Voluntary Notification Process:

Where a Childminder is minding 3 or less children or is legally exempt from registration with TUSLA, a Childminder may choose to voluntarily notify that they are providing a childminding service and can do so by contacting the Cork City Childcare Committee.

Voluntary Notification requires 3 simple steps:

  1. Includes filling in a Voluntary Notification Declaration form
  2. Completing accompanying paperwork
  3. Undertaking an advisory home visit from the Childcare Committees Development Worker

Once the visit is made and all paperwork is completed, the childminder will be issued a Voluntary Notification Certificate. The assigned Development Worker will be available throughout the Self-Evaluation process to guide and inform the Childminder.

What are the benefits of Voluntary Notification?

  • Voluntary notified Childminders are seen to be operating at high national standards
  • You can receive advice and support from the allocated Development Worker as well as information on trainings, seminars, conferences, networking, and other opportunities organised by Cork City Childcare
  • Avail of financial supports e.g. €15,000 Childminder Tax Exemption or the Childminding Development Grant
  • Be placed on the Cork City Childcare database
  • It reassures parents of the quality care and standards that you operate under

Please note that to remain on our data base, you need to renew your Voluntary Notification annually.