Why choose a Childminder?
For information on why you might choose a Childminder as an option of Childcare, please visit Childminding Ireland’s website here.
Questions to consider when looking for a Childminder:
It may be an idea to advertise locally in local shops, post offices, libraries etc., however, be cautious of giving too much personal information. It is advisable to consider on creating an email address-separate to your personal one to communicate with potential childminders.
Remember always to ask the questions that you feel are applicable to who you want to mind your child(ren), here are some sample questions to consider when making your decision;
Is the Childminder/does the Childminder possess:
- Garda Vetting?
- First aid trained?
- Child Protection Trained?
- Qualifications or experience in the Childcare field?
- Are they voluntary notified with their local committee or are they obliged to register with TUSLA? (if they are minding four or more preschool aged children)
- Their own transport, and will they facilitate pre-school drop offs and collections?
- How much do they charge: is it a daily rate or an hourly rate?
- How many other children do they mind?
- Do they have pets in the home?
- Do they smoke?
- 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?
- What if a member of either party needs maternity leave?
- Do they provide the meals and snacks for your child/ren or do you?
- What is the procedure if you or my child has an accident or becomes ill?
- Have they adequate home and motor insurance to facilitate childminding?
- Where will your child/ren sleep?
- Have they a Behaviour Management Policy?
- Have they any other Policies in place? E.g. child protection, health & safety etc.
- 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?
Please be aware that no one childminder will have all the above, these are only guidelines, it is up to each individual parent/guardian to consider what attributes, skills and level of experience they desire for their child/ren.
Please note, It is recommended that you meet the potential childminder face to face before making your final decision of hiring them.
Creating a Working Agreement with your Childminder:
It is important for both the parents/guardians of the child/ren, the child/ren themselves and the Childminder that you have a written working agreement agreeing what the expectations are for both parties involved. The agreement should be reviewed every six months to a year or when/ if incidents arise. The working agreement should be formulated based on the questions above i.e. agreed days of work, agreed times, agreed routines etc. Working agreements allow for expectations to be set out at the beginning and ensure that most potential issues or incidents are agreed upon before they occur, it also gives the opportunity for both parties to negotiate with one other in relation to certain aspects of the role.
How Can I source a Childminder?
- Personal recommendations i.e. word of mouth through a trusted neighbour, family member or friend
- Free Advertising in local shops, libraries, GP surgeries, community halls
- Paid Advertising on trusted sites
- Attending a local Parent and Toddler Group
- Trusted Websites online e.g. Childminding Ireland
Caution: Remember, irrespective of how you have sourced your Childminder, be sure to have an interview/meeting with them face to face prior to hiring them. Be sure to ask the correct questions, meet them more than once if you feel you need to get to know them a little better. Public places are the safest way to meet people you do not already know. Be careful of exchanging too much personal details.
What is meant by a “registered Childminder”?
Not all childminders are obliged to register as Childminders. Childminders’ registration body is Tusla: The Child and Family Agency. Registration for childminders depends on two factors; 1) how many children they mind 2) the ages/educational stages of those children. For example, under the Early Years Services Regulations 2016, a childminder must register with Tusla if they are minding 4 or more pre-school children only and may mind up to a maximum of 5 pre-school children (counting their own pre-school children). A childminder is exempt from registering with Tusla if they care for 3 or less pre-school children only.
Registered Childminders are subject to inspections by the Early Years Inspectorate just as Early Learning and Care Centres are.
Childminders who are exempt from registration with Tusla, are encouraged to complete a Voluntary Notification Process with their local Childcare Committee. More about the Voluntary Notification Process can be located here: The Voluntary Notification Process