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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Ferghal Blaney

Government gives green light to plans for childminders in the home to be paid as part of State support

Government ministers have agreed to green light proposals to allow childminders in the home to be officially paid.

Children’s Minister, Roderic O’Gorman, brought the plan for approval because of the loophole that exists where commercial childcare providers qualify for Government schemes, but smaller childcare providers, typically in the home, do not.

This means that parents cannot avail of government supports if they have a childminder in the home that is not registered with the child welfare agency, Tusla.

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It also means that the childminders can’t offer the reduced rates that they could if they were part of programmes like the ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) scheme.

Mr O’Gorman said: “I think it is important to emphasise that the intention of the proposals which I have brought to Government today is not to increase enforcement action but instead streamline it where appropriate and address some of the limitations of the current legislation, making the enforcement process more effective and so improving overall compliance with Regulations within the early learning and childcare sector.

“Amending the legislation to bring the policy proposals to fruition will also provide an opportunity to address the exemption from regulation for childminders which is currently included in the legislation.

This will pave the way for the introduction of appropriate and proportionate childminder-specific regulations in the future.

“Future regulation and support of childminders will help to recognise the valuable role childminders play and the service they provide for children and families.

“Importantly, it will also pave the way to open up the National Childcare Scheme to childminders, extending subsidies under this Scheme to families who use childminders.”


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