A childminder is a person who single-handedly minds children in his/her own home.
A childminder (a person who provides a childminding service) should look after not more than 5 pre-school children including his/her own pre-school children. No more than two children should be less than 15 months. Exceptions can be made if the children under 15 months are the result of multiple births e.g. triplets or if the children under 15 months are siblings.
As a measure of best practice all Childminders are encouraged to participate in First Aid for children. All Childminders registered with Tusla must be trained in First Aid Responder (FAR) and be available for children attending the Childminding service, as per the Quality & Regulatory Framework for Childminders.
Childminders who are not obliged to register with Tusla are not required to have a childcare qualification, however all Childminders are encouraged to continue their professional development and participate in relevant childcare training as a measure of best practice.
Childminders who register with Tusla as a pre-school service are required to hold at least a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework prior to registration. This includes the care of a mix of preschool and school age children.
There is currently no qualification requirement for Childminders registered with Tusla as a School Age Childcare service. This includes the care of a mix of preschool and school age children.
Tusla Children First E-learning Programme
Tusla has worked with the DCEDIY and HSE to develop a universal e-learning training programme called ‘Introduction to Children First’. The programme is based on Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and the Children First Act 2015. The programme takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete but it can be done in a number of sittings. To adhere to best practice in relation to Child Protection & Welfare, all Childminders should complete the E-learning programme.
Always Children First Training – Foundation Level
Always Children First training aims to create an awareness of Child Protection and Welfare issues in the Early Years sector. The aim of the training is to help Childminders understand how to safeguard children and report Child Protection and Welfare concerns. This training may be accessed through your local City/County Childcare Committee. A prerequisite of attending this training is that Childminders have completed the Tusla Children First E-Learning Programme.
Childminders providing a childcare service in their own homes are self-employed and are responsible for making annual tax returns.
A Tax Relief Scheme enables Childminders to mind up to 3 Children and earn up to €15,000 per year tax free, provided that you inform your local childcare committee of your childminding service.
If earnings exceed €15,000 per year – by any amount – you must register with Revenue under the Self Assessment taxation system. Tax due is calculated on the profit of the childminding business, not the income. Childminders earning more than €15,000 and making a return under the self-assessment system must keep receipts of expenditure involved in running the childminding business. Such expenses are deducted from the fees paid by parents to identify your income. For more information on tax please contact your local tax office.
Childminders are self-employed so are not governed by employment legislation in the way that it applies to employees.
Being self-employed means you set the terms and conditions in a Childminding Contract, i.e. hours of business, the amount and frequency of fees payable – including payment for holidays and other absences and whether meals/snacks, nappies etc. are provided as part of your service and included in the fees or not.
The signed contract means you both agree and are fully aware of the terms of the service. It is important for a parent and childminder to review the childminding contract annually. It is so important to talk everything through, clearly, many problems can be avoided or resolved in this way.
A sample contract is provided in the ‘Childminding Sample Record Keeping’ Forms, please contact Westmeath CCC to receive a copy of this booklet.
Yes, if you are Tusla Registered, you are required to have a range of policies and procedures in place for your childminding service. Sample policies and procedures can be obtained from your local county childcare committee. In respect of Tusla Registered Childminders, the inspection team will review your policies and procedures and if necessary make recommendations as to revising or updating them. All businesses without exception are required under health and safety legislation to have a safety statement which incorporates a safety policy and procedure.
As with all relationships, from time to time, events or actions may give rise to a difference of opinion or disagreement between the Parent/s and the Childminder. Remember that the child expects that those who love and care for him/her are respectful and trusting of each other. Never discuss any Child in their presence or in the presence of others who are not his parents.
Yes, having appropriate insurance for your Childminding business indicates a commitment to providing high quality, professional service. Remember you should advise your household insurer that you are undertaking Childminding in your home and your motor insurer that you carry minded Children in your car. Failure to do so could invalidate these covers.