Information for Parents

This section includes information on a wide range of topics relevant to parents. Please use the tabs on the left for further reading on the

  • Registration of Childcare Services to Tusla
  • Types of Childcare Services

For information on choosing childcare and to view an Inspection Report for an Early Years (Childcare) Service use the links below

Childcare Schemes – Are you entitled to Free or Reduced Rate Childcare?

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) operate a number of childcare programmes. These programmes provide free or reduced rate childcare to eligible children and/or parents. Click on each link below for an overview of each of the programmes.

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme
The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Scheme
Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes

Universal Subsidy (CCSU).  Since September 2017, there is a Universal Subsidy for children between the ages of 6 months and the time at which they may start ECCE (free pre-school) programme, and who are not receiving any CCS subvention. This is not means-tested and is available to families with children in Tusla-registered childcare.  Please see Universal subsidy FAQs for further information.

The following guide has been produced specifically for parents:
A Parent’s Guide to the National Childcare Funding Programmes 2018-2019

Agus as Gaeilge:  Ag teacht go luath.

Better Pre-School Access for Children with Disabilities

In June 2016 Minister Zappone launched a new Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) to give children with disabilities better access to pre-school.  A range of initiatives are being made available as part of the model:

  • Inclusion Charter.  Pre-school services are invited to sign up to this Charter by producing their own Inclusion Policy.
  • Up to 900 specially trained Inclusion Coordinators in ECCE settings by September 2017.
  • Advice and support from the Early Years Specialist Service (Access & Inclusion) can be accessed at (01) 5117222.
  • Specialised equipment, appliances or a grant towards minor alterations.  Service providers, in partnership with parents/guardians, must complete an application form.
  • Therapy services or additional capitation to fund extra support.  Service providers, in partnership with parents/guardians, must complete an application form.

Full details on AIM are available at www.aim.gov.ie

Entitlements for children with disabilities

AIM Inclusive Play

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs commenced distribution of AIM Inclusive Play on 9th April 2018.

Resources in AIM Inclusive Play include:
 All Kinds of Feelings/All Kinds of People Books
 Audible Ball
 AIM Early Years ‘My Day’ Fan
 Creating Sensory Play for Little on No Cost / Hey! Children on the Autism Spectrum Play Too Books
 Dancing Ribbons
 Dark Den Cube/Pop Up Den
 Disc o’ Sit/Movin Sit
 Emotions Poster
 Grimms House / Grimms Rainbow
 Jumbo Tweezers
 Kinetic Sand
 Laptop Tray
 Massage Set
 Recordable Answer Buzzer
 Large Timer
 5 Mini Timers
 Sockette Puppet
 See Me Sensory Ball
 Sensory Bubble Hourglass
 Sensory Reflective Blanket
 Squigz
 Strobe Bar
 Tactile Ball
 Teeter Popper
 Therapy Putty
 Time Timer
 Traffic Light Fan
 Warmie Weighted Sensory Friend

The DCYA has prioritised distribution as follows:
 The setting has availed of targeted AIM supports OR
 An employee in the setting has graduated from the Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) in the Early Years higher education programme 2016/17 and has agreed to take on the role and responsibilities of an Inclusion Coordinator OR
 An employee in the setting has enrolled in the Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) in the Early Years higher education programme 2017/18 OR
 At least one employee in the setting has completed the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) training being rolled out by City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs)

Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework

Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework uses four interconnected themes to describe the content of children’s learning and development:
1. Well-being
2. Identity and Belonging
3. Communicating and
4. Exploring and Thinking
Aistear highlights the critical role of play, relationships and language for young children’s learning. In doing this, it provides a guide to using play, interactions, partnerships with parents, and assessment to help children progress in their learning and development. Aistear is for all children from birth to six years.
Aistear recognises that Parents are the most important people in their children’s early lives. Aistear contains lots of ideas, suggestions and practical examples of how parents can support their children’s early learning and development. It also provides lots of information on how parents and services can work together.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) who published Aistear have created an information section for Parents. Please refer to https://www.ncca.ie/en/early-childhood for general information on Aistear, Tip Sheets for Play and Supporting Children’s Literacy and Numeracy.

Internet Safety for Children

The computer/tablet or device with internet access should be located in a common/family room, such as kitchen or sitting room, so that children can be observed on-line.

Screening /filtering programmes can be installed to limit access to on-line information. For an overview of such programmes please visit:

It is a good idea for parents to become familiar with computers and the internet, there are many courses available but more often than not it may be as simple as asking your child to show you. Working with your child is also beneficial in that it provides an opportunity to discuss the potential gains and risks associated with internet use.

Internet usage may be monitored by:
The phone bill (logging onto the internet is the same as making a phone call – it has its own number, which can be identified)
Browser history gives a list of sites which have been accessed (it is similar to an itemised phone bill)

The links below provide detailed information on Online Safety: