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FAQ’s asked by Childminders
If you are unable to find the answers to your question, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a response as soon as possible.
Questions relating to Insurance:
Is insurance compulsory?
Yes, Registered Membership of Childminding Ireland includes Childminding insurance which is specifically tailored to this market and offers peace of mind for parents and protection for Childminders in the delivery of their Childminding business. Having appropriate insurance for your Childminding business indicates a commitment to providing high quality, professional service.
Registered Membership, including insurance is available at just €155 per year.
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.
Questions relating to my Childminding Service:
Will Childminding Ireland inspect me?
No, Childminding Ireland does not inspect Childminders. Childminding Ireland is a membership-based organisation and Childminders join for professional support, information, guidance and access to the Group Insurance Scheme.
How many children can I mind as a Childminder?
A single-handed Childminder can mind up to five pre-school children in her own home.
No more than two children can be under the age of 15 months (except in the case of siblings.)
Childminders must notify their local Health Service Executive if they mind four or more pre-school children (excluding their own.)
Training and Professional Development for Childminders:
Is training compulsory for Childminders?
Childminders who are required to notify their local HSE must undertake First Aid training. No other training is required for Childminding at this time.
Childminding Ireland recommends the Quality Awareness Programme (QAP), particularly for those just starting out as a Childminder. The QAP is the only available course designed for Childminding and ideal for those who have not participated in training for a long period of time, or are doing so for the first time as an adult. There are no exams, it is free and it enables valuable networking with other Childminders, who can be a valuable source of support and information..
QAPs are run by the City/County Childcare Committees. Contact your local committee for information and / or to express your interest in participating in a QAP.
The Business / Professional Practice element of Childminding:
Should I be paying tax?
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.
Should I be paid for holidays?
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 of your business in the same way as any other business person would, 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. It is wise to set these terms out in an agreement, signed by the Childminder and the parent(s).
A sample agreement is included in the Registered Childminder Pack for your guidance.
I am a Childminder, do I need to have policies and procedures in place?
Yes, if you are notified to the HSE, you are required to have a range of policies and procedures in place for your childminding service. Childminding Ireland includes sample of policies and procedures for Childminders in its Registered Member pack. In respect of HSE notified 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.
Registered members of Childminding Ireland receive a range of sample policies and procedures as part of their membership pack.
What if issues arise within the Childminder / Parent relationship?
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.
Myself and a friend both mind children and we want to do it together in my house – can we mind 10 children between us?
No, not as a Childminder.
The regulations define a Childminder as a single handed person minding children in the Childminders own home.
You can mind 3 pre-school children and a number of after school children (over 6 years of age) bearing in mind the report on school age childcare recommends a ratio of 1 adult : 8 children.
If you are HSE notified you may mind up to 5 pre-school children and a number of after school children. The HSE inspection team may also change the category of your service based on the numbers of children minded and the status of the second person involved in the childminding, i.e. if s/he is a casual helper or stand in, or a full time employee or partner in the childminding service.
I’m starting a Childminding Service from my home, do I need to apply for “Change of Use” Planning Permission?
No, Childminders are exempt from the “Change of Use” Requirement, and have been since 2002. In Statutory Instrument 2001 – 600 Childminding is listed in the Regulations, Part 2 under Exempted Development.
“Development consisting of the use of a house for childminding shall be exempted development for the purposes of the Act”
Childminding is defined as “Childminding means the activity of minding no more than 6 children including the children, if any, of the person minding in the house of that person, for profit or gain.”