Childminders to be regulated under new legislation

Childminders to be regulated under new legislation

Roderic O'Gorman

Legislation providing for the registration and regulation of childminders among other early learning and childcare reforms has been published.

The Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2024 will remove exemptions relating to childminders to facilitate the future extension of regulation to all paid, non-relative childminders. This will allow parents using childminders to access subsidies under the national childcare scheme.

The bill also builds on the enforcement options available to Tusla, allowing for the immediate closure of unregistered early learning and childcare services, the temporary suspension of service registrations and putting the enforcement path on a legislative footing.

It will also introduce a formal mechanism for sharing of certain information related to quality of an early learning and childcare service with parents and with the public generally, where appropriate.

A new “fit person” regulation will empower Tusla to assess the suitability of a person applying to be a registered early learning and childcare provider.

Children’s minister Roderic O’GOrman said: “I am confident that these proposals will bring significant benefits to the early learning and childcare sector by addressing the limitations that have been identified in the current legislation and improving overall compliance with regulations.

“I am committed to delivering childminding-specific regulations that are both appropriate and proportionate, striking a balance between regulation and quality, and acknowledgement of the unique circumstances of a childminder operating in their home.

“Furthermore, this will allow parents who avail of a childminder to benefit from State supports such as the national childcare scheme.”

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