How many Children can I mind?

Minding pre-school children only:
Under the Early Years Services Regulations 2016, a childminder must register with Tusla if they are minding 4 or more pre-school children only and may mind up to a maximum of 5 pre-school children (counting their own pre-school children). A childminder is exempt from registering with Tusla if they care for 3 or less pre-school children only.

Minding school age children only:
From the 18th February 2019 under the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School age Services) Regulations 2018 (School age Childcare Regulations 2018), a childminder must register with Tusla if they are minding 7 or more school age children only and may mind up to a maximum of 12 school age children. A childminder is exempt from registering with Tusla if they care for 6 or less school age children only.

Minding a mix of pre-school and school age children:
From the 18th February 2019, the School age Childcare Regulations 2018 will come into effect. Your childminding service MUST be registered with Tusla if:
• you are caring for 4 or more unrelated pre-school children or
• 7 or more school age only children at any one time in your own home.

Please note, to register with Tusla you must be minding at least 4 or more preschool children OR 7 or more school age children.

Under the new regulations if you are minding a mix of both pre-school and school age children, TABLE A below sets out the maximum numbers of children that you can care for at the same time.

TABLE A

No. of pre-school children being cared for Maximum no. of school age children
0 12
1 10
2 7
3 5
4 2
5 1
5 0

A childminder is exempt from registering with Tusla if they care for a mix of pre-school and school age children (up to a maximum of 6 children) as set out in TABLE B below.

TABLE B

No. of pre-school children being cared for Maximum no. of school age children
1 5
2 4
3* 3

* no more than 2 babies under 15 months

School age Childcare Regulations 2018 come into effect on the 18th February 2019. For more information check out the DCYA's Frequently Asked Questions, please note Q13 to Q15 relate specifically to childminding.

Other Considerations

Insurance:
You should ensure that you have appropriate insurance to cover your childminding service. Tailored childminding insurance is included in Childminding Ireland Membership. If you are a homeowner, you need to inform your home insurer of your service. If you are in rented accommodation, you should also have the property owner’s written agreement. You may carry minded children in your car, once they each have an age appropriate car seat, and you have informed your car insurance company.

Planning Law:
Under local planning laws you can mind no more than 6 children of any age without having to apply for planning permission for ‘Change of use’.

Childminding Tax Relief:
If you mind no more than 3 children, you may avail of the Childcare Services Tax Relief.

Commerical Rates:
As a childminder you are exempt from commercial rates provided you are caring for 6 children or less at any one time.

Future Regulations & Registration Requirements

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs is currently considering other regulations and legislation, which are likely to affect childminders as part of their Action Plan (the Department’s 10-year strategy on Childminding). This page will be updated to reflect any new developments.