The Minister for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, published the Child Care Regulations (the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016)on the 4th May 2016. These Regulations came into effect on a phased basis on the 30th June 2016. The 2016 Regulations provide for pre-school services, that is, those services catering for children under the age of 6 who are not attending primary school.
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 require the all early years services in Ireland strive for full compliance across all early years regulations however it is accepted that there are areas that require greater focus and attention. Resulting from this, the Child and Family Agency introduced a revised model of Pre-School Inspection on the 30th June 2016. Since the 30th June 2016 the primary scope of early years inspection is on the areas identified as requiring improvement; Governance, Health, Welfare and Development of the Child and Safety.
The inspection protocol and process remains unchanged and early years services can anticipate a concentration of focus on the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.
The Early Years Inspectorate has developed a Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF), to support registered Early Years Services to comply with the 2016 Regulations. The QRF does this by setting out the core regulatory requirements in a transparent way, bringing together evidence-based, national and international research and best practice in Early Years. The QRF aims to support registered providers in achieving compliance with the regulations and enhance the safety and care of children who attend these services. The QRF is child-centred, with a specific focus on the quality and safety of the care provided directly to children using the services.
For further information see the following QRF documents:
The registration of school age services was introduced on the 2nd January 2019 with the publication of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018.
Prior to this Minister Zappone (TD) signed the Childcare Support Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 201. This order will enable registered school age services to participate in the affordable childcare scheme from its introduction in autumn 2019.
A “Commencement Date” of the 18th February 2019 was agreed to start the registration of school age services.
From the 18th February 2019, all school age service providers are required to register their school age service with Tusla by completing the online registration process in order to comply with The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018.
For further information see the National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare services and School Age FAQ document