Early Years Inspection Services are now part of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Significant legislative change is contained within the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013 and Part VII of the Child Care Act 1991, which prescribes the powers of supervision and inspection of early years services, has been amended. This legislative change introduces a pre-approval registration model with the emphasis on quality assurance. It comprehensively reforms the enforcement options available to the Agency.
Inspections will be based on a newly developed set of national standards. These standards will focus on the experiences and outcomes for children attending early years services. They are intended to strengthen the management, governance and supervision of services. They will provide a comprehensive framework for the regulation and quality assurance of all early years services.
Early childhood care and education is one of the 16 priorities listed in the Child and Family Agency’s 2014 business plan. The business plan states that in 2014, the focus in the Early Years Inspection Service will be on quality assurance, workforce development and outcomes for children. The Early Years Inspection Service will operate on a national rather than on a local or regional basis. This is to ensure that resources are deployed to maximum effect and that a consistent service is provided.