Types of Childcare

The main types of childcare are:

Full Day Care facilities: which provide childcare for more than 3.5 hours per day. These include crèches and nurseries;

Sessional Care facilities: which provide childcare for one or two sessions a day with a maximum of 3.5 hours per session. These include playgroups, Naíonraí and services offering Montessori programmes, etc.

Childminder: is a person who cares for children, usually in the childminder’s own home. A childminder should look after no more than 5  preschool children at any on time (including her/his own) and s/he can care for no more that 6 children (including school age children) in the home at any one time.

IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst home-based childcare (such as childminding) may be a preferred option for many people, childminding does not currently fall within the scope of any childcare related legislation. This means that childminders are not currently inspected by the Early Years Inspection team and are not legally required to hold Garda Vetting, insurance or minimum childcare qualifications. Whilst the majority of childminders listed on the WCCC website are in possession of these items of best practice, we advise parents to ask any potential childminder they consider engaging about these items in order to satisfy themselves of their suitability. Click here to read our advice for parents when choosing childcare.

Drop-in centre: A drop-in centre offers a service for short periods during the day. These are usually provided by shopping centres, leisure centres, hotels etc.

Out of School/School age childcare: A school age childcare service is one that provides care for school going children out of school hours. These can include breakfast clubs, after-school clubs, school holiday programmes, etc.

Montessori: This method of teaching is based on the understanding that education begins at birth and is a natural process which develops spontaneously.  Respect for the child is the core principle of the Montessori Method of Education.

Naoínra: A Naíonra is a group of children coming together daily for 2-3 hours  under the guidance and supervision of a Stiúrthóir (Leader). The staff structures the environment to ensure that all facets of the child’s holistic development are catered for, which giving the child the opportunity to acquire Irish naturally through the medium of play, which is this particular age group’s chief method of learning.

ECCE: This government scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age.  In general, children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged between 3 years 2 months and 4 years 7 months on 1st September of the relevant year they will be starting.  Read more…

TEC: This government scheme supports the childcare needs of participants in courses operated by FÁS, ETB and CE Schemes; those returning to employment or training and lone parents.  The schemes supports full-time, part-time or after-school care.  Read more…

CCS:  This is a scheme which enables community providers to offer parents, who meet certain criteria, a reduced childcare fee.  Read more…

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