Childcare Services Grants and Resources


Useful Publications for Early Year Service Providers

Below please find some publications and resources which you may find helpful.

National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services

Treoirlínte Náisiúnta Cáilíochta do Sheirbhísí Cúraim Leanaí ar Aois Scoile Treoirlínte, Comhpháirteanna agus Gnéithe

National Childcare Scheme Policy Guidelines: NCS-Policy-Guidelines-2

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter and Guidelines for  Early Childhood Care and Education: Diversity-Equality-and-Inclusion-Charter-and-Guidelines-for-Early-Childhood-Care-Education

Quality and Regulatory Framework for Full Day and Part Time Day Care: QRF – Full Day Care Service and Part time Day Care Service

Quality and Regulatory Framework for Pre School Services: QRF – Sessional Pre School Service

Quality and Regulatory Framework Childminding: QRF – Childminding

Code of Professional Responsibilities and Code of Ethics for Early Years Educators: Code of Professional Responsibilities and Code of Ethics for Early Years Educators

Draft Childminding Action Plan: Draft Childminding Action Plan

First 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families

Management of Infectious Disease in Childcare Facilities and Other Childcare Settings:,13445,en.pdf




Download Children First Act 2015

Download Child and Family Agency Act 2013

Download Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF)

Download A Guide to Planning Requirements for Early Years Services, Re-Registration and Change of Circumstances, August 2019

Download Siolta, The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education (CECDE 2006)

Download National Vetting Bureau Acts 2012-2016

Download Fire and Planning Requirements for Early Years Services Re Registration

Download Fire Safety in Preschools


Download DPER Circular 13 2014

Download Freedom of Information Act 2014

Download Questions asked to Tusla Inspectorate

Download Childcare Support Act 2018

Aistear Siolta Practice Guide (NCCA 2015) can be found here:

Fire Services Act, 1981 can be found here:

Food Hygiene Regulations 1950-89 can be found here

The European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations can be found here

National Standards Authority of Ireland can be found here

Data Protection Commission can be found here

Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) Rules for 2019/2020 can be found here

Children FirstNational Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017

School Age Childcare

New Registration System Brings School Age Childcare into Affordable Childcare Scheme 

  • School age childcare services to be registered for first time with Tusla 
  • Minister Zappone signs the Childcare Support Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018 and the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018, enabling school age childcare services to register and participate in new Affordable Childcare Scheme 
  • The families of over 17,750 school age children benefited from government childcare subsidies last year. Thousands more could benefit in 2019 through the Affordable Childcare Scheme
  • Regulations represent an important first step in the full regulation and inspection of school age childcare services
  • Another major milestone to quality affordable, accessible childcare

Only registered school age childcare services will be able to provide services under the Affordable Childcare Scheme.

National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services

Treoirlínte Náisiúnta Cáilíochta do Sheirbhísí Cúraim Leanaí ar Aois Scoile Treoirlínte, Comhpháirteanna agus Gnéithe

Download FAQ’s  Registration of School Age Childcare

To download a copy of the Early Years School Age Regulations please click on this link

Affordable Childcare is now up and running. This is not the Affordable Child Scheme; it is the measures to make childcare more affordable to parents from this September.

Download Provider-Booklet

Download Parent Leaflet

Budget 2018 changes in relation to the ECCE Programme

Changes will take effect from September 2018

The following is a summary of changes to the ECCE programme with effect from September 2018:

  • All eligible children will receive two full programme years
  • Age of eligibility reduced from 3 years to 2 years and 8 months
  • Upper age limit remains 5 years and 6 months
  • Number of enrolment points changed from three to one in September
  • Standard capitation increased to €69
  • Higher capitation increased to €80.25

Need assistance with your childcare costs?? Download 3768_DCYA_CCS-english


Quality and Regulatory Framework

This Quality and Regulatory Framework applies to all registered Full Day Care and Part-Time Day Care Early Years Services.

For Full Day and Part Time Services download Quality and Regulatory Framework (Full Day) Quality and Regulatory Framework (Sessional)

For Sessional Services download Quality and Regulatory Framework (Sessional)

Directory of Childcare Services and Parent and Toddler Groups in Laois

Laois County Childcare Committee has developed a directory of services which outlines if services are community or private and which of the national schemes they offer. The directory is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to parents of which service to use. We recommend that parents visit services to choose one that suits their family’s needs.

You will find our directory on our website.  Click on the link for a shortcut to that page:

Useful Publications for Parents

Below please find some publications which you may find helpful.

Download Child Care Act 1991 Early Years Services Regulations 2016

Download Right From The Start

Download Children First Bill – April 2014

Download A Parents Guide to Pre-School Regulations

Download Choosing a Childminder

Download Barnardos – Learning Together

Download Our Children First – A Parents Guide

Download  ChildrenWithSpecialEdNeeds

Download Siolta – A Guide For Parents

Download Child and Family Agency Act 2013

Choosing a Childcare Service

There are many types of childcare services some distinguished simply by the opening hours or management structures, other by the curriculum of education they use. Services can be privately run or community based. Community based services are operated on a not for profit basis and are run voluntarily by a management committee. Private services are operated by a self-employed service provider.

Quality within childcare service provision has many aspects to it and means different things to different services/parents. Aspects that contribute to quality within childcare services include:-

  • Standard of the building
  • Qualifications of Management and Staff
  • Programmes/activities offered within services
  • Promotion of play within services
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Feedback mechanism to parents etc.

Download the NCNA’s publication: 9 Steps to Choosing a Childcare Service – A Parent’s Guide

Where to get advice if I have a difficulty or a complaint about a service

The Early Years Inspectorate investigates unsolicited information received that falls within the remit of the Child Care Act 1991 Early Years Services Regulations 2016. These regulations set out the level of service you can expect when dealing with an Early Years Service.

What is Unsolicited Information? - Unsolicited Information is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as; ‘Something that is unsolicited has been given without being asked for and may not have been wanted’

Feedback, including comments and complaints, which can be considered unsolicited information provides a valuable source of information by which service delivery standards can be monitored and reviewed by the Early Years Inspectorate.

We want to know when things go wrong, or how you think services can be improved. This will allow Early Years Services to improve how they operate.

All concerns will be treated promptly, fairly and impartially.

Who can raise concerns about an Early Years Service?

If you are worried about a child in an Early Years Service or you have concerns about a Service and you have failed to have your concerns resolved by the Service Provider then you should bring these to the attention of the Early Years Inspectorate Complaints Office. Concerns can come from a number of sources including; parents, guardians or relatives of a child attending the service, staff of the service or the general public.

Please note that any information you present about an Early Years Service will not affect any aspect of the quality of service provided to a child or their family.

What should I do first?

Before you contact us, you should attempt to solve your issue directly with the Service Provider concerned. You can do this by speaking to the person in charge of the Service. The Service Provider will have a Complaints Policy outlining their procedure for dealing with such matters and this should be used in the first instance. You may also wish to put your concern in writing. In many cases, concerns can be resolved at this stage.

If you fail to resolve your issue directly with the Service Provider you should then contact the Early Years Inspectorate Complaints Office.

How concerns are processed

If you are not satisfied with the standard of service provided by an Early Years Provider, you can bring this to the attention of The Early Years Inspectorate Complaints Office, who will aim to process your concern promptly, thoroughly and fairly.

We will first make sure that your concern falls within the remit Child Care Act 1991 Early Years Services Regulations 2016.

We will then decide the appropriate process for investigation and in particular whether your concern will be investigated by the Early Years Inspectorate or referred back to the Service Provider for investigation.

What to expect

The Early Years Inspectorate aims to provide a procedure that is accessible, efficient, effective, standardised and fair.

Once your concern has been submitted you will receive a letter of acknowledgement. This letter will outline how your concern will be processed. There are a number of possibilities depending on the nature of your concern as outlined below.

  1. Your concern will be investigated by the Early Years Inspectorate. You will receive correspondence outlining the process for investigation you can expect. Your concern may fall into one of three categories;
    • It may require an onsite complaint investigation
    • It may trigger a full inspection of the service
    • It may form part of the next scheduled inspection of the service
  2. Your concern will be referred for investigation to the Service Provider in line with their Complaints Policy. The Service Provider will be required to furnish a report of their investigation to the Early Years Inspectorate.
  3. Some aspects of your concern may fall within the remit of the Early Years Inspectorate and will be examined accordingly. You will receive correspondence outlining the process for investigating the aspect of your concern that falls within the remit of the Early Years Inspectorate which will result in one of the following;
    • It may require an onsite complaint investigation
    • It may trigger a full inspection of the service
    • It may form part of the next scheduled inspection of the service
  4. All or part of your concern does not fall under the remit of the Early Years Inspectorate. It may be more appropriate for another agency to investigate your concern and, where possible, contact details of this other agency will be provided to you.
    The full content of the Early years Inspectorate procedure as to how unsolicited information including complaints relating to registered services are managed can be here
What information should you provide when raising a concern?

When raising a concern, please provide the following details:

  • Your full name, address, telephone number & email address.
  • Your relationship with the Early Years Provider i.e. parent, staff, other.
  • The name, address and contact details of the Service Provider.
  • Time and date(s) i.e. when did the incident occur?
  • Name of child or children involved.
  • Details of any other persons involved.
  • A factual account of what happened. Please provide as much detail as possible and please enclose copies of any relevant documentation you think might help us.
  • Please state whether or not you have used the Service Providers own Complaints Policy. If you have used the Complaints Policy of the Service Provider please state the outcome. If you have not used the Complaints Policy of the Service Provider please state why.

A complaints form can be accessed here and submitted to us at the contact details below.

How long will it take to deal with my concern?

It is not possible to say exactly how long it will take. The time it takes us to investigate your concern will vary from case to case.

We will do our best to resolve your concern as quickly as possible and you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation once completed.

How to Contact Us

If you wish to contact us regarding a concern you have about an Early Years Service you may do so by email: or phone: 061 461 380



Childminding Information

A Childminding Initiative has been rolled out over the last few years aimed at supporting those providing childminding services or those thinking of becoming childminders.

Broadly speaking there are three main areas of work.:

  • Training childminders pic
  • Networking
  • Information

Download our guide Choosing a Childminder

We would advise anyone thinking of becoming a childminder or operating as a childminder to read the National Guidelines for Childminders

Quality Framework

The definitions for services are taken from the Child and Family Act 2013. Under this Act, an Early Years Service is a service providing a pre-school service, or a school age service. A pre-school service is any pre-school, play group, day nursery, crèche, day-care or other similar service which caters for pre-school children.  The Act defines a pre-school child as a child who is under six years, and who is not yet going to a recognised school. In this Framework, the regulatory terms ‘pre-school service’ and ‘early years service’ are used interchangeably throughout.

This Quality and Regulatory Framework applies to all registered Childminding Services.  Please click on this link to download this Framework for Childminders Quality and Regulatory Framework (Childminders)

Childminders Database

Are you a Childminder? Would you like to be included on our database? If so please contact our office on 057 86 61029 or email

Parent and Toddler

Parent and Toddler Information

Parent and Toddler groups are a great place for parents (both mothers & fathers) but also grandparents, guardians, childminders and carers to get together and provide a fun filled environment in which their children, usually under 5, can play. A small charge usually arises for participants, which helps pay for the toys, insurance, craft activities and refreshments. You can attend a Parent & Toddler Group with a new born baby, a baby who has just learnt to sit, a toddler and a pre-schooler, or a combination of the above.

It provides children with a great starting point to get used to a populated setting which can make the transition to pre-school easier. Group activities also help children build their social skills as it gives them the opportunity to interact with other children. For parents these groups can be a great source of support. It provides an opportunity to meet with other parents in your locality and share experiences, tips and information.

Groups can organise speakers to address the parents on issues that interest them e.g. nutrition, child development, speech therapy and the value of play or arrange a meeting with the public health nurse etc. There are currently 17 Parent & Toddler Groups in Laois.

Parent and Toddler grants are generally available on an annual basis.

LCCC offers support and advice to those wishing to set up a group or those currently operating groups within the county. If there is not currently a Parent & Toddler Group in your area and you would like to set one up, please see the parent and toddler information booklet below or contact LCCC on 05786-61029 for further information.

Download Parent and Toddler Information Pack

Go to our directory page for a list of Parent and Toddler groups click on the link

Aistear and Síolta

What is Aistear? What is Síolta?

What is Aistear?

In October 2009, the NCCA published Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. Aistear is for all children from birth to six years. It is the outcome of extensive research, consultation, planning, and development by the NCCA in partnership with the early childhood sector. Aistear can be used in the range of early childhood settings including children’s own homes, childminding settings, full and part-time daycare settings, sessional services and infant classes in primary schools.

Highlighting the fact that children learn many different things at the same time, the Framework uses four interconnected themes to describe the content of children’s learning and development: Well-being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, and Exploring and Thinking. Aistear highlights the critical role of play, relationships and language for young children’s learning. In doing this, it provides a guide to using play, interactions, partnerships with parents, and assessment to help children progress in their learning and development.

The Framework has both implicit and explicit links with the Primary School Curriculum (1999). With its focus on children from birth to six years, Aistear can play an important role in the NCCA’s ongoing review of the Primary School Curriculum (1999) and in supporting continuity and progression in children’s learning. -

Download Aistear - Information for Parents

What is Síolta?

Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills

Core Elements of Síolta

Síolta is comprised of three distinct but interrelated elements: Principles, Standards and Components of Quality. The 12 Principles provide the overall vision of the Framework, while the 16 Standards and 75 Components allow for the practical application of this vision across all aspects of ECCE practice. The Components of Quality are further explained by a set of Signposts for Reflection and ‘Think-abouts’ which are intended to support practitioners in early education settings to become aware of and critical of their practice.

It was published in 2006, following a three-year developmental process, which involved consultation with more than 50 diverse organisations, representing childcare workers, teachers, parents, policy makers, researchers and other interested parties.

Download Siolta - A Guide For Parents


Find us on

View Laois County Childcare Committee facebook posts on this site

View posts

This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience. By using this site you agree to our Cookie Policy Ok