Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a list of commonly asked Questions & Answers.

Definition of a Childminder

A Childminder is a person who singlehandedly minds children in the Childminder's own home. Childminders are self-employed, agree their own terms, fees and conditions with parents, and are responsible for their own tax and PRSI arrangements.

If a Childminder plans to mind 4 or more pre-school children they must register with Tusla, 3 months prior to the commencement of minding the 4th pre-school child. Tusla registered Childminders are subject to inspection by Tusla’s Early Years’ Inspectorate.

The regulations define a Childminder as a single handed person minding children in the Childminder’s own home. Tusla may change the category of your service to full day care based on the numbers of children minded and the status of a 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. In this case, you will also need to apply for Change of Use planning permission with your local council.

Your Childminding Business

Different pieces of legislation and schemes give different answers to that question. Under the (Early Years Services) Regulations (Childminding in Legislation) 2016, a Childminder can mind no more than 5 pre-school children including your own preschoolers. However, you are exempt from regulation if you are minding 3 or fewer pre-school children unrelated to you, not counting your own pre-school children. You can also mind afterschool children at the same time. However, under local planning (Business Legislation Schemes and Supports) laws you can mind no more than 6 children of any age, including your own, something reflected in Childminding Business and home insurance. If you mind no more than THREE children under the age of 18, you will also be able to claim the Childcare Services Tax Relief. (Childminding and Tax) You should ensure that you have insurance for Childminding. Your membership with Childminding Ireland entitles you to a discount on your Childminding Insurance. If you are a home owner, you must inform your house insurance of your service. If you are in rented accommodation, you should also have the landlord’s 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. Please be aware that failure to notify your home and car insurer that you are running a Childminding service may invalidate your insurance cover.

As a self-employed person you are responsible for your own tax and must register with Revenue. If you are earning less than €15,000 gross per year, you may avail of Childcare Tax Relief Childminder Tax Relief in respect of earnings of up to €15,000 per year. You may avail of the Childminding Tax Relief if: 1. The fees you earn from Childminding in your home are under €15,000 per year. 2. You are minding no more than three children (not necessarily pre-school children) at any one time. 3. You have informed your local City or County Childcare Committee (CCC) of your childminding service. 4. You are registered with Revenue using the TR1 Form. RSI payments made under the Childminders’ Tax Relief Scheme enables State benefits, particularly the Contributory Old Age Pension, Maternity and other benefits to accrue. If you are earning over €15,000 gross per year you cannot avail of the Childcare Tax Relief but expenses incurred in providing your Childminding Service are deducted as appropriate from your tax liability. In order to register with Revenue you must complete and return the TR1 Form. Each year you are required to keep a record of your business income and expenditure with supporting receipts, which forms part of your end-of-year tax return, submitted by October 31st each year to the Revenue.

Best practice to have First Aid and Child Protection training, Childminding Ireland run regular courses please see Training for courses in your local area. Childminders who are required to register with Tusla must undertake First Aid training and have a minimum of QQI (Fetac) Level 5 in Childcare. Childminders are eligible for a Childminder Development Grant. The criteria to access this grant are available from your local County Childcare Committee.

Childminders are self-employed so employment legislation does not apply in the way it applies to employees. Becoming self-employed 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. It is recommended to set these terms out in an agreement, signed by the Childminder and the parent(s). A sample agreement is included in the Childminding Ireland Membership Pack for your guidance.

It is best practice to have policies and procedures in place prior to starting your Childminding service. Childminding Ireland includes sample of policies and procedures for Childminders in its Membership pack. Contact support@childminding.ie for further information. If you are registered with Tusla, you must have a range of policies and procedures in place for your Childminding service. 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.

No. You are allowed to run a Childminding business in your home under local planning laws. It is exempt development since 2001, once you mind no more than 6 children, so you need no change of use planning. (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2001/si/600/made/en/print#part2) In the Statute, "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."

The ratio for outings for all members of Childminding Ireland is 1:5.

Insurance

As a Childminder working from your own home Childminding Insurance is important for your own protection. It is a membership requirement of Childminding Ireland that you have valid Childminding Insurance. Members of Childminding Ireland can access Childminding Insurance at a reduced rate through the Group Insurance scheme. This insurance is specifically tailored for your Childminding business and offers peace of mind for parents and protection for Childminders. Childminders that are required to register with Tusla are obliged to have appropriate insurance to cover their service. Please note you must notify: • Your household insurer if you are Childminding in your own home • Your Motor insurer if you are carrying minded Children in your car • Your Landlord if you are Childminding in a rented home Failure to do so may invalidate your insurance cover.

Currently membership and insurance costs €220 annually.

This is a Childminding business insurance that covers the Childminder for: Public Liability – limit €6,500,000. Legal liability for accidental bodily injury to persons other than Employees and/or accidental damage to third party property in connection with the Business - See policy booklet for full details. Property Damage – limit €25,000. Cover for contents and equipment for the primary use of the service up to the policy limit. Claims are subject to the policy excess of €250. Employers Liability – limit €13,000,000. Legal liability in connection with the Business for bodily injury to Employees (including volunteer workers) - See policy booklet for full details. Legal Expenses Cover is provided with access to a free legal helpline – the number is 1850 670 747. Allianz have issued guidelines for Childminders insured under the Childminding Ireland Group Insurance Scheme regarding the Safe use of Bouncy Castles and Safe use of Trampolines.

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.

Childminder applications for Garda vetting are processed through the Barnardos vetting service. Their contact details are as follows: By phone: (021) 4547060 By email: vetting@barnardos.ie Website: www.barnardos.ie By Post: Barnardos’ Vetting Service. Blackmore House, Meade St. Cork

Garda Vetting is free to Childminders. Garda vetting is undertaken for residents on the Island of Ireland. If you have lived abroad or are a foreign national now living in Ireland, for any period you will be required to submit information pertaining to the relevant jurisdiction with your application. Vetting costs arising from international vetting must be met by the applicant.

Vetting takes approximately 4 weeks. Applications containing errors or omissions will be returned un-processed and will result in a longer processing time.

Under the 2006 Childcare Pre-School Services Regulations, it is compulsory for Childminders notified to Tusla/Child & Family Agency to be Garda vetted. This requirement extends to their assistants/stand–ins who work at the service.

Yes. Simply complete the vetting form and sign it in the space marked Manager / owner. https://www.barnardos.ie/

A statement is returned to you from the Garda vetting unit with details any conviction/prosecutions. The Barnardos Vetting Service refers a disclosure to Tusla/Child & Family Agency where there is cause for concern in relation to the welfare of children only.

Although not required by law at this time, it is good practice to renew your Garda vetting every 2 years.

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