Early Years Regulations 2016

Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016


Dr James Reilly, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, recently signed new Child Care Regulations the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016) which will come into effect on a phased basis from 30th June 2016.  Following this date the 2006 Regulations will be revoked.


Some of the main changes in these new regulations are outlined below:


1. Registration

Under Part II of the regulations, new services will now have to register their service with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency before being permitted to operate.  Part of this registration will include enclosing vetting disclosure documents, references, floor plans of the premises, appropriate insurance documentation and specified policies, procedures and statements. (Regulation 6)

Existing services must return their Standard Declaration Form (SDF) by the 15th June to Tusla. 

Failure to so will result in services having to register as a new service and therefore being unable to open until registration approval is given.


2. Management and Staff

  • Services will need to ensure that there is a clear management structure in place that identifies lines of authority and accountability in the service outlining specific roles and responsibilities of each employee and unpaid worker. (Regulation 9)
  • All employees working directly with children must hold a minimum of a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 5 on the National Qualification Framework, or equivalent.  (This applies to new services from the 30th June 2016, and all other services from 31st December 2016) (Regulation 9)
  • Staffing Levels – there is no change here, however the ECCE programme adult:child ratio of 1:11 is now part of the regulations for sessional services. (Regulation 11)
  • IMEB accredited services will be subject to the regulations from 1st September 2016. (Regulation 11)

To access an online version of these Regulations ahead of their commencement on the 30th June 2016 please visit the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Website at:


Read the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016

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