Setting up a Business

If you are thinking of starting a childminding business, there are a number of issues you need to consider. Different supports and regulations apply, depending on your particular situation.  You may be employed, unemployed or someone who is coming from outside Ireland to set up a business.

As a childminder, you should set up a business as a sole trader.  It is relatively simple to set up as a sole trader. Your main legal obligation is that you must register as a self-employed person Legal Obligations on Becoming Self Employed with the Revenue Commissioners.  If you want to use a business name, you must register your business name with the Companies Registration Office. For more information, go to

If you are unemployed you may be eligible for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) or the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA).  If you are starting a business, you also may get extra supports under these schemes, for example grants for training, market research, business plans and access to loans to buy equipment.

You also need to plan your service.  Do some research.  What level of demand is there for childminding in your area?  How much should you charge?  You may need to prepare your home for young children.  Fill in the questionnaire Planning a childminding service to get you started.  Read our Guidelines to Planning a Childminding Business in your home.

WCCC Childminder Supports

WCCC offers support and advice to Childminders minding children in their own homes (and the parents who have their children minded).  Advice is freely available by contacting your local Childcare Committee by telephone 0404-64455 or email. We can arrange a home visit to discuss anything to do with childminding.

Childminder Training

Please see our training section for our latest training events.

For further information please contact: or 0404 64455

Support Information

  • Under the National Guidelines for Childminders (2008), there are many different support schemes available to childminders. They include:
  • The Voluntary Notification Support Scheme  allows childminders access, training, networking as well as public listing for parents.
  • The Childminders Tax Relief which exempts childminders who mind three or fewer children and earn less than €15,000 from paying income tax.

All information on the latest publications and schemes for childminders is available on request or to download below.

These include:


A FULL information pack for childminders and those thinking of childminding is available by contacting WCCC.

Childminding Development Grant

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth provides Childminding Development Grants of up to €1,000 to those who provide or intend to provide a childminding service in the Childminder’s own home. You may apply for a grant annually to purchase equipment or make small home modifications for your service.

Contact us at or 0404 64455 to find out when the next round of funding is available.

Childminding is Changing

Note that registration with Tusla for childminders is due to change in the near future.  Under the National Action Plan for Childminding (2021-2028), registration with Tusla will be extended to all paid, non-relative childminders under new regulations specific to childminding in the home.

What is the purpose of registration?

  • Registration with Tusla is intended to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of children, to promote their development, and to ensure compliance with the regulations made under Part VII of the Childcare Act 1991. The Early Years Inspector inspects the childminding service and may make several visits to help the childminder reach regulatory standards.

How do you register a childminding service?

  • All registrations can be completed through the Tusla online portal.  It is a legal requirement for all childcare services (Early Learning and Care & School Age Childcare) proposing to operate to make an application under section 58D (2) of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, at least 3 months before it is intended to commence operation. The annual notification fee for childminders is currently €40.
  • To register as a pre-school childminder, you must hold a complete Early Childhood Care and Education at level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework or equivalent.
  • To register as a school age childminder, you currently require no specific qualification under existing school age regulations.

Steps to setting up a service

Here are some things it’s best to get sorted before you open your service.   If you have already started, you can still catch up on the things you’ve left out!

  1. Decide how you want to run your service.  Full-time or part-time, days of the week; fees- daily, weekly, hourly rates; the number of children you can take on.  To think about all the options, look at the Guide to Becoming a Childminder.
  2. Prepare advertising. Make a small ad to put in local shops, toddler groups and supermarkets; try advertising on; notify your local WCCC for public listing.  But remember, word of mouth usually works best!
  3. Prepare your home for the service.  Child proof the house as needed; get fire safety equipment; make sure you have enough equipment and toys for different age groups.
  4. Make sure you have adequate insurance.  If you own your home, your house insurance may cover you to mind children, but you need to check. If you are in rented accommodation, then you will need professional insurance.  Look up Insurance.
  5. Notify Tusla if necessary.

    Currently, under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 a person minding more than three pre-school children from different families is obliged to register with Tusla as a childminding service.

    A person minding more than six school age children must also register with Tusla Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018. You do not have to hold a qualification in order to register as a school age childminder.

    A ‘pre-school child’ is a child under six years of age who is not attending a national school or a school providing education similar to a national school.
    A ‘school age child’ is a child aged 4-14 years attending any form of primary or secondary school. 

  6. Register yourself as self-employed.  Fill in form TR1 to register for tax; you need to do this to claim the Childminders Tax Relief also. To get the form, ask at your local tax office; LoCall 1890 306 706, or download at
  7. Get Garda Vetting as a Childminder. Contact Barnardos in Cork on 021 4310591, or e-mail, to get a Childminders Vetting Information pack.
  8. Develop a working agreement to use with parents. A written working agreement helps to make your arrangement work more smoothly.  
  9. Hold interviews with any prospective parents. Discuss your working agreement with them and the level of care required –food, nappies, pickups etc; Also talk about how you manage behaviour difficulties, sickness, holidays, maternity leave.
  10. It’s good practice to have the new child come for a few settling in visits before you sign a working agreement and get going properly