Choosing an Early Years Service

Choosing a quality early education and care service for your child is an important and often difficult process for parents. Many parents are unsure what to look out for to ensure they are choosing a quality early years service. The following guides will assist you in making your decision and provide you with the information you require to make an informed decision. It is important to consider the type of childcare you require, the curriculum on offer and the fees charged. Every childcare service in Ireland must be registered with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Tusla regularly inspect Early Years Services and publish the inspection report. You can also view a service’s latest Tusla Inspection Report via this link.


This type of care is by those who care for children in the minders own home.  Only those who care for four or more unrelated pre-school children are subject to the requirements of the Child Care Act (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.  Childminders who care for 3 children or less have no requirements in relation to minimum quality standards. It is advised that parent should request that all childminders are Garda Vetted, have polices and procedures in place in relation to health and safety for their service and have references available for verification.

School Age Childcare

Age range 6 – 12 years. An out of school service is provided and takes responsibility for children when they are not in the school setting i.e. before school, after school and during school holidays. Out of school services should operate on the basis of an agreement between parents/carers and staff with on-going structured links with local schools.

Useful links