Setting-Up a Childcare Business

Limerick Childcare Committee, provides an information and support service to Early Year’s (Childcare) Services and those interested in setting-up a Childcare Business. This service is delivered on a geographic basis by one of our Childcare Development Officers

East Limerick Rosie Moore rosie@limerickchildcare.ie
West Limerick Catriona Sheehy catriona@limerickchildcare.ie
Limerick City Marie Therese Marry marietherese@limerickchildcare.ie

The Childcare Development Officer, will provide relevant information to you by phone, email or in a face to face meeting.

Phone and Email Consultations provide general set-up information, i.e. an overview of the Registration Process, Planning and Fire Safety Requirements, Insurance Requirements, Garda Vetting, Information on Qualification Requirements and Training Opportunities. Information will also be provided on the Childcare Schemes (ECCE, CCS and TEC) and how to apply to enter these schemes.

Face to Face Meetings – when meeting with those interested in setting-up a Childcare Business, we will go through the above information in more detail. This discussion will also include guidance on conducting a ‘needs analysis’ to assess if there is a need for the type of service you are proposing, in the area you have chosen.

Registration with Tusla

Under Section 92, Child and Family Agency Act 2013, the new Child and Family Agency is required to provide a system of registration of Early Years Services. This means, that all new Early Years Service Providers, including Childminder’s, will have to register with the Agency and undergo an inspection before commencing operation. Existing Services and Childminders will be deemed registered on an interim basis, but will be required to apply for registration and undergo an inspection in due course.

Please refer to our Section on the Pre-school Regulations for further information.

Types of Childcare Services

Please note that under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) 2006, the term pre-school service, refers to all categories of Early Years (Childcare) Services, that cater for children under 6 years of age/not yet in Primary School, and a Pre-School Child, refers to all children under 6 years of age/not yet in Primary School.

  • Childminding Service – A Pre-School service which may include an overnight service offered by a person who single-handedly takes care of pre-school children, including the childminder’s own children, in the childminder’s home for a total of more than 2 hours per day, except when the exemptions in Section 58 of the Child Care Act 1991 apply.
  • Sessional Pre-School Service – a Pre-School Service offering a planned programme to pre-school children for a total of not more than 3.5 hours per session. Services covered by the above definition may include Pre-schools, Playgroups, Creches, Montessori, Naíonraí, Notifiable Childminders or similar services which generally cater for pre-school children.
  • Part-Time Day Care Service – A Pre-School service offering a structured day care service for pre-school children for more than 3.5 hours and less than 5 hours per day. Services covered by the above definition may include Pre-schools, Playgroups, Creches, Montessori, Naíonraí, Notifiable Childminders or similar services which generally cater for pre-school children.
  • Full Day Care Service – A Pre-School Service offering a structured day care service for Pre-School children for more than 5 hours per day. Services such as those currently described as day nurseries and crèches are included in this definition.
  • Pre-school Service in a Drop-in-Centre – A Pre-School Service offering day care which is used exclusively on an intermittent basis. This refers to a service, where a pre-school child is cared for over a period of not more than two hours, while the parent or guardian is availing of a service or attending an event. Such services are mainly located in shopping centres, leisure centres or other establishments as part of customer/client service.
  • Pre-school Service in a Temporary Drop-in-Centre – A Pre-School Service offering day care exclusively on a temporary basis. This refers to a service, where a pre-school child is cared for while the parent or guardian is attending a once-off event such as a conference or a sports event.
  • Overnight pre-school Service – A service in which Pre-School children are taken care of for a total of more than 2 hours between the hours of 7pm and 6am, except where the exemptions provided in Section 58 of the Child Care Act 1991 apply.

Planning Requirements

The Planning Department of Limerick City & County Council, will advise on the planning requirements, depending on the proposed premises. In this regard a pre-planning meeting will highlight any issue which may arise.
Planning Permission is required:

  • To develop any land or property, this includes the carrying out of works such as building, demolition, alteration or the making of any material changes in use of the land or structure
  • To change the use of an existing residence or building to become a childcare facility

The Department of the Environment and Local Government, developed ‘Childcare Facilities: Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ to support the Planning Authorities in assessing applications for Childcare Facilities.

Contact Details: 061 407210, or planning@limerick.ie

Qualification Requirements

As of September 2014, the qualification requirements below, will apply to all newly set-up Early Years (Childcare) Services. They will apply to existing services, from September 2016.

The minimum qualification for all Pre-School Leaders, delivering the ECCE programme, will increase to Level 6 (on the National Framework for Qualifications)
The minimum qualification of Level 5 on the National Framework for Qualifications, will be required for all staff working with children in Early Years Services

Please refer to the Qualification Requirements page on our website for further information, including the list of DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications and Qualification Requirements for the ECCE Scheme.