Frequently Asked Questions

 

Childminders Frequently Asked Questions

How many children can a childminder mind?

Childminding is governed by the Childcare (1991) Act and the Child Care Regulations (2006), but only a small minority are included in the new registration system for childcare services. Childminding is regulated only where four or more children are minded, who are unrelated to you or each other and under the age of six .

Under these Regulations, a childminder can mind up to five unrelated children under the age of six.  Registration with the Child and Family Agency is obligatory if four or more preschool children are being minded, and these childminders are inspected by the Early Years Officer.

While school age services will now be registered and inspected, it is as yet unknown how that will impact childminders providing a schoolage service. However, under current planning laws,  a childminder can have no more than six children in the home under local planning regulations.

Are all Childminders vetted or inspected?


Childminders who are not required to register with the HSE (because they mind three or fewer preschoolers or provide school age care) may voluntarily notify their city or county childcare committee and sign up to a voluntary code of good practice, including insurance and training. They will receive an initial advisory visit as part of the process, must renew their notification annually to remain on the public listing of Committee.

How much should I pay my childminder?


A childminder will agree rates individually with each family according to requirements, i.e. number of children to be minded, number of meals provided, transport to or from school etc.

The most recent survey of rates conducted in County Wicklow in 2013 showed that the most common full-time weekly rate was €200 per child; with rates ranging from €120 to €300 per week, depending on location in the county. This figure is greatly influenced by supply and demand.

Hourly rates are dependent on number of factors such as the number of hours that you may be engaging a childminder; the qualifications that the childminder holds and the years of experience that the childminder has. Services such as collection and drop off at school/other extra curriculur activities (such as visits/trips) and whether or not provision of food is something you require will also effect the cost of engaging a childminder.

It is important that you discuss all these items with a childminder and agree on a clear pricing structure before engaging services to avoid any confusion further down the line. Many childminders will be able to draft up a simple contract between the childminder and the parent which will clearly outline the pricing structure and what is or isn’t included in the price agreed.               

Should I pay my childminders's PRSI and deduct income tax?


Childminders who mind children in their own home are usually self-employed and liable for their own tax/PRSI. However, if the childminder minds children in your home, she is really a nanny, and then s/he is an employee for whom you must pay all relevant tax and social insurance contributions. For more information go to:  http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/types_of_employment/full_time_employment/domestic_workers_in_ireland.html

What's the difference between a childminder and a nanny?


While both a childminder and a nanny offer home based care, a childminder works in his/her own home, where a nanny works in the family home. Typically, a childminder is self-employed, whereas a nanny is considered an employee, and her employer, the family, needs to take care of taxes, PRSI etc.  For more information on Nannies, go to:  http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/types_of_employment/full_time_employment/domestic_workers_in_ireland.html

What should I look for when choosing a childminder?


Arrange to visit potential childminders in their own homes, ideally when there are children there so you can see if the atmosphere is happy and busy. Ask to look over the house and see the areas available to the children. Have a look at the toys, books and equipment. Ask lots of questions! You should always ask for character references and follow these up. 

  • What experience does the childminder have? Are they insured?
  • Do they have any training in first aid or childcare?
  • What do they charge? What is included, for example, meals, nappies, etc.?

Do I have to pay my childminder holiday pay?


It is recommended that you pay your childminder for 52 weeks a year. In the case of extended breaks, for example in the case of parents who are teachers, it is usual for childminders and parents to work out an arrangement whereby a proportion of the cost is paid to retain the place. These arrangements should form part of the initial contract that is agreed between childminder and parent.


 

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