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What is Garda Vetting?
A Garda vetting application authorises An Garda Síochána to furnish a statement to the applicant (i.e. the Childminder, who has applied for vetting as the owner of the Childminding Service) that there are no convictions recorded against her in the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere, or a statement of all convictions and/or prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, in the State or elsewhere as the case may be.
How do I apply for Garda vetting?
Garda vetting for Childminders is organised through Barnardos.
Contact Barnardos vetting service:
By phone (021) 454 70 60
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost to be Garda vetted?
The service is free. However, if you have lived abroad for any period you will be required to submit information pertaining to the relevant jurisdiction with your application. Costs accrued regarding accessing that information will be borne by you.
How long does the vetting process take?
Vetting takes approximately 8 weeks. This time will be extended in the event that insufficient or wrong information is included on the application.
Is Garda vetting compulsory for Childminders?
Under the 2006 Childcare Pre-School Services Regulations, it is compulsory for all HSE notified Childminders – those minding four or more non-related pre-school children – and their employees/assistants to be Gárda vetted.
As a Childminder, can I apply for Garda vetting for myself?
Yes. Simply complete the vetting form and sign it in the space marked Manager / owner.
If you are not required to notify your childminding service to the HSE, you and other adults (18years and over), living in the family home can still apply for vetting.
Can a parent insist I be Garda vetted?
It is compulsory for HSE notified Childminders – those minding 4 or more pre-school children – and their assistants to be vetted.
If you are not required to notify the HSE of your childminding service, then you are not required to be Garda vetted either and a parent cannot insist upon it. However, on the principle of best professional practice and in the interest of child welfare and protection, Childminding Ireland recommends Garda vetting for all Childminders.
What happens if I, or a member of my family, have a conviction?
A statement is returned to you from the Garda vetting unit with details any conviction/prosecutions. The Barnardos Vetting Service only refers a disclosure to the HSE where there is cause for concern in relation to the welfare of children.
What happens in the event a vetting statement shows a conviction in respect of an assistant or helper?
It is important that you have a policy and procedure in place to deal with statements revealing conviction/prosecution, detailing the steps to be taken regarding safe guarding the children in your service and the penalties which may apply in such eventualities including dismissal. All assistants should receive a copy of this policy and procedure in the induction phase.
For the purposes of fair process, when developing your policy and procedure you must identify and list the type of convictions/prosecutions which make it inappropriate for the person to continue on in your childminding service. In the event of a disclosure and in the interest of fair process, you must adhere to the steps set out in the policy and procedure.
Note: Think broadly and outside the box when drafting the policy and procedure –what type of conviction/prosecution would make a person unsuitable to work directly with children in your service. Think too about time frames and the age of the person when the conviction was passed. Be fair and reasonable, but above all, think of the safety, protection and wellbeing of the children in your care.
Do I have to renew my Garda vetting?
Although not required by law at this time, it is good practice to renew your Garda vetting every 3-5 years.
Help: If you have a query or need clarification when completing the vetting application form, please do not hesitate to contact Barnardos vetting unit, phone: (021) 454 70 60. An error or omission on the form will result in it being returned to you.