Elections 2024: Childminders seek candidate commitment on their concerns

Local and European Elections 2024

Ireland’s childminders are seeking a commitment from all candidates in the forthcoming Local and European elections that the interests and concerns of childminders will be recognised.

Issues raised by childminders concerning the Draft Childminding Regulations include: 

  • Draft ratios challenge the sustainability of childminding businesses, as childminders will be required to include their own children in the ratios until their children start secondary school.
  • These Draft Regulations fail to meet the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee as contrary to the Committee’s recommendations no learnings have been taken from recent developments in centre-based care, and these Draft Regulations do not recognise or support the unique provision of childminding.
  • There are no incentives for childminders. The National Childcare Scheme may facilitate parents with funding the cost of childminding but only if childminders keep childminding. These Draft Regulations, unless amended, could lead to a mass exodus of childminders from the sector.

Ensure that Childminders remain at the heart of local communities.

Childminders are passionate about safeguarding children, children’s safety, and wellbeing.  Childminders also appreciate the importance for families of having access to childcare subsidies, however any new system must be workable in the context of childminding.  Childminders are at the heart of every community throughout Ireland and provide a key service supporting parents and families, by minding children in a home-based setting.

Childminders are deeply concerned about new Draft Regulations which the Government is proposing. These new Draft Regulations are being introduced in a context where parents will be able to access the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) subsidies.

The current Draft Regulations are inappropriate and disproportionate for childminding.   When designing policy for childminding there must be a basic acceptance that childminding is vastly different from other forms of childcare. Home based care mirrors the atmosphere and flexibility of family life and allows over 53,000 children to grow and develop in a homely setting.   At the heart of the concerns of childminders about the new Draft Regulations is that they are based on a model that was designed for largely commercial centre based childcare settings and are not suitable for childminding in the home.

Childminders Urgently Call For: 

  • The Draft Childminding Regulations must be substantially amended, revised or otherwise they should be withdrawn.
  • That the childminding exemption within the Child Care Act is not removed until there is an appropriate and proportionate childminding regulatory system created.

Childminding Ireland is committed to working with all parties necessary to find solutions to the deep concerns raised by childminders about the Draft Regulations, and the sustainability of childminding into the future.

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