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

The return to childcare services after the COVID-19 closure will bring some added stress for many families. Barnardos has produced a resource for parents on supporting the well-being of children – Supporting Your Child on their Return to Early Learning and Care – Barnardos

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 National Childcare Scheme (NCS)

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.

Information on making an application for the 2020/2021 pre-school year can be found in New Applications for AIM 2020-2021

You may download the AIM Information Leaflet 2019 here.

Full details on AIM are available at

Entitlements for children with disabilities

AIM Inclusive Play

All pre-schools in Ireland, offering the ECCE Programme, have received an AIM Inclusive Play pack from The Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

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

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 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: