Early Years Services Regulations 2016
Early years services need to comply with the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 regulations from July 1st 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:
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)
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)
Information on Setting up a Service
Check our the following publications that provide information on setting up a service information on setting up a new service. Please note this document is from 2009 and the funding information is now out of date. Please see our Funding page for current information.
- Guidelines for Setting Up A Childcare Service
- Ideas for Equipment & Materials for Preschools
- Project Management Guidelines for the Construction, Refurbishment or Extension of Childcare Facilities
Sourcing Suitable Premises
There are several options for sourcing a childcare premises.
The Department of Environment and Local Government recommends that when developers are building new housing areas, a standard of one childcare facility providing for a minimum 20 childcare places per approximately 75 dwellings should be a general standard. Keep your eyes open for new housing developments as developers often advertise space for a childcare service as part of this.
Alternatively contact your local estate agent to see if they have any purpose built childcare facilities or buildings that can be converted for this use, to purchase or lease, available www.ipav.ie. When setting up a childcare service some individuals / groups purchase or lease a property and renovate it to suit the delivery of a childcare service and obtain Planning Permission for this process. In general the Department of Environment and Local Government considers that the following are appropriate locations for a childcare service:
• New Communities / Larger New Housing Developments
• Near large centers of employment e.g. business parks, industrial estates etc..
• In the vicinity of schools
• Neighbourhood, District and Town Centres
• Adjacent to Public Transport Corridors
Contact Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for more information about Planning Permission, on (01) 2054700.
If you would like further information and support about setting up or expanding a childcare service we are happy to advise you. Please contact us (01) 2896600