Statutory Childminders Notification - When, Why and How
Are all childminders obliged to notify the HSE?
No, not all childminders are expected to notify the HSE of their services. However, there are certain groups of childminders who are legally obliged to notify the HSE of their services. While some childminders are exempt from notifying the HSE, it may be in their interest to do so.
When is notification compulsory?
Under section 58 of the Child Care Act 1991, any one person minding four or more pre-school children from different families is obliged to notify the HSE of their services.
A ‘preschool’ child is defined by the HSE as a child under the age of six, who does not attend a national school or a school providing education similar to a national school.
Under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations 2006, a childminder should not look after any more than five preschool children, including their own pre-school children. As well as this, no more than two children should be less than 15 months old.
Under what circumstances is a childminder not obliged to notify the HSE?
Childminders are not obliged to notify the HSE if:
How do I notify the HSE?
- You are minding children under six, who attend school.
- You mind three children from different families
- All preschool children come from the same family or are related to you
Childminders should contact the local HSE Preschool Office in
order to get a notification form. The form must be completed and returned with all the necessary information filled in. As a statutorily notified childminder, you will be inspected by the local HSE preschool officer to ensure your services are of a high enough standard.
If a childminder is voluntarily notifying the HSE, a voluntary notification pack should be obtained from the local Childminder Advisory Officer (CMAO). Within this will be a voluntary notification form and a self-evaluation form. Once completed and returned, the CMAO will contact the childminder to arrange a date for review of their services.
Why would a childminder voluntarily notify the HSE?
Childminders who are not obliged to notify the HSE, but do so anyway, can avail of a wide range of services and supports available in Ireland:
- Capital grants are available to childminders who register with the HSE
- Conferences, seminars and other events are organised by County Childcare Committees (CCCs) for registered childminders
- Childminders who have notified the HSE will have the option to put their names on a public list supplied to parents who may wish to avail of their services
- Guidance on development of policies and standards in childcare will be made available to childminders who have notified the HSE
- Training, networking and other great opportunities will be made available through the HSE, CCCs and CMAOs.
If you are unsure as to whether you are obliged to notify the HSE of your childminding services or not, contact your local CCC or CMAO.
|Download the national guidelines here|
Download Childcare committee contact details here