Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Inspection of School Age Services

The authority to inspect School age Services is established by the Child Care Act 1991, Section 58 as amended by Part 12 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013

Section 58I of the act empowers Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate to supervise the provision of School Age Services by ensuring that the services are visited by authorised persons (inspectors).

Section 58J, permits authorised persons (inspectors) to enter a school age service for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the relevant sections of Part 12 of the Child & Family Agency Act 2013.

All School Age Service providers must comply with the Child Care Act 1991 (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018. Inspections under these regulations can include seeking assurance that the policies and procedures supplied as part of the registration application, including especially the Child Safeguarding Statement, are implemented and that staff are trained in their appropriate application.

Providers of School Age Services must also be able to demonstrate their compliance with other duties as set out in Section 58G, these are

  1. Demonstration that the provider is taking all reasonable measures to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the children in attendance.

  2. Evidence that there are  sufficient numbers of competent and suitable staff in place - no less than the prescribed ratio of 1:12 to appropriately supervise the children at all times.

Note that the depending on the size of the premises and the nature of the space allocated to children it may be necessary to have more than one staff member supervising 12 children at any given time.

Currently there are no specific regulations governing the care and welfare of children in School Age Services.  It is expected that regulations of this nature will commence development sometime in 2023.

To assist providers to meet high standards of care , the DCEDIY have produced National Quality Guidelines for School Age Child Care settings, which can be found here.

School Age Services are not routinely inspected but are supervised by triggered inspections arising from feedback and concerns received by the agency concerning the operation of school age settings.

Inspections may also be triggered by early years preschool inspectors if they observe concerns of a regulatory nature in a co-located early years setting. Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate may also carry out themed inspections in School Age Services from time to time.

Furnishing of Information to Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate

A Registered Provider or proposed Registered Provider of a School Age service is mandated by legislation to provide inspectors or registration officers with any information that Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate may reasonably require for the purpose of enforcing and executing the Regulations. The Inspectorate is empowered to verify any information provided to them by an applicant.

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