What is School-Age Childcare?

School-Age Childcare caters for school going children, outside of normal school hours. It may take a number of forms, including before-school, after-school, during school-holidays, on in-service days.

Generally it will encompass all the above. Children enrolled in the School-Age Childcare Service, attend on a regular basis and access to the service is clearly defined by agreement with parents/ guardians.

A number of Good Practice Guides have been produced to support those running/setting-up a School Age Childcare Service. Some of these are listed below.

Registration of School Age Childcare Services

The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018, enabling school age childcare services to register with Tusla, came into effect on 18th February 2019.  Once registered, school age childcare services will be able to participate in the forthcoming National Childcare Scheme (NCS) launching in late 2019.

You may download a copy of the regulations, Child Care Act Early Years Regs 2018 (SAC). Please also see the FAQs for Registration of School Age Services Regs 2018.

SAC Regs 2018 Explanatory Guide Jan 2019

National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services 2020

Resources and Links

  • ‘After School – A Practice Guide for Providers’ was developed by Barnardos, as a means of outlining a model of good practice for school age childcare services.The guide focuses on the role of the school age childcare worker, and the importance of reflection in the delivery of an appropriate program of activities. It can be downloaded here After School – A Practice Guide for Providers’
  • Providing an Inspirational After School Programme of Activities for 4-12 Year Olds developed by Barnardos The publication can be purchased directly from Barnardos
  • School Age Childcare Information Guide by Wicklow County Childcare Committee is a step by step Guide to Developing a School Age Childcare Service
  • School Age Childcare a Guide to Good Practice by Dublin City Childcare Committee. The purpose of this guide is to draw on the Dublin City Childcare Committee’s research findings and other resources to offer a guide to good practice in planning for and operating a School-Age Childcare service.