Childminding Ireland calls for support for childminding

Childminding Ireland is seeking the support of our public representatives for the thousands of childminders who provide a vital service throughout communities in Ireland every day.

Childminding Ireland is the National Childminding Body and provides training, support and guidance to childminders. We believe that childminding as a form of childcare needs to be recognised nurtured and supported. Childminders want an appropriate assurance system that recognises and supports quality childcare.

Childminders are self-employed, providing childcare in their own home, often for several different families. Childminding is a relationship-based form of childcare, with children often staying with a single childminder from babyhood, through national school and into secondary school. In a properly regulated and supported environment, homebased childminding should be given parity of esteem with centre based childcare (such as crèches).

Currently an estimated 34,000 childminders are providing childcare completely unsupported and outside of any regulatory or support system. This also means that the vast majority of parents (estimated 88,000 children) using a childminding service are unable to access the National Childcare Scheme subsidies.

The Government will shortly publish a Childminding Action Plan with proposals to regulate childminding.

Childminding Ireland believes that the Plan needs to properly recognise the role, function and contribution of childminders and to facilitate their development and growth through proportionate and targeted regulation.

We hope that the Plan will encourage childminding in Ireland in consultation with childminders and Childminding Ireland. In particular we hope that the Plan will set in place proper structures for the regulation, registration and training of childminders.

We will be in touch with public representatives once the Action Plan is published and the Government’s proposals are outlined. In the meantime we would welcome the recognition and support of public representatives for the role played by Childminders in Ireland, both within our local communities and nationally.