Childcare providers in Limerick welcome new rules

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CHILD care providers in Limerick have welcomed new regulations that require all those who look after school-age children to register with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, by May 18.

The regulations apply to those who look after children aged six to 15 years in an after-school care environment. Services that are already registered as pre-school providers must apply for registration with Tusla by August 18, while new services must apply at least three months before opening.

Once registered, school-age childcare services will be able to participate in the Affordable Childcare Scheme which will be launched later this year.

The regulations were introduced ahead of a public consultation process on the development of comprehensive regulations and national quality standards for the care of school-age childcare.

Welcoming the new regulations, Lynn Shanahan of the Daydreams Creche in Dooradoyle said that they coincided with the introduction of a new funding model.

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“These new regulations protect our children, like the requirement to have all staff members Garda vetted before working in the childcare sector.

“At the moment, the regulations are for stand-alone services. This means if you have an after-school club and that’s all you have, then you have to be registered by now. There will also be a cost for those who haven’t registered before”

Tusla National Services Director Fiona McDonnell said that the introduction of statutory regulation for school-age childcare was an exciting step in reassuring parents that services for their children meet the highest standards.

by Miranda Leahy

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