Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Early Years Quality and Regulatory Framework

The Early Years Inspectorate has developed a Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF), to support registered Early Years Services to comply with the 2016 Regulations. The QRF does this by setting out the core regulatory requirements in a transparent way, bringing together evidence-based, national and international research and best practice in Early Years. The QRF aims to support registered providers in achieving compliance with the regulations and enhance the safety and care of children who attend these services. The QRF is child-centred, with a specific focus on the quality and safety of the care provided directly to children using the services.

Tusla Early Years Inspectorate, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, launched the Quality and Regulatory Framework on Wednesday the 5th of September 2018 in Dublin.

The Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF)

There is a QRF relevant to all services below.

Full Day Care Service and Part-Time Day Care Service
Seirbhís Cúraim Lae Iomláin agus Seirbhís Cúraim Lae Páirtaimseartha

Sessional Pre-School Service
Seirbhís Réamhscoile Sheisiúnach


Pre- School Service in a Drop-In Centre

Overnight Pre-School Service (For a stand alone Overnight Service)

Overnight Pre-School Service 

(Additional Regulatory Requirements for a Childminding Service, or a Full Day Care Service also providing an OvernightPre-School Service)

Quality and Regulatory Framework - Bibliography. 

The Quality and Regulatory framework is underpinned by evidenced based national and international research and current best practice in the in Early Years.

Report of consultations on the development of the Quality and Regulatory Framework. 

The development of the QRF has benefitted greatly from an extensive consultation process with Registered Providers, Parents, The Early years Inspectorate, many organisations across all stakeholders in the Early Years Sector in Ireland and International peers and regulatory organisations. The report of these consultations can also be accessed here.

Policies, Procedures and Statements in Early Childhood Education and Care Services.

The  guidebook, policy samples/templates and other documents provided below have been developed by Barnardos in collaboration with Tusla to support you, as an early years provider, to develop your own set of policies, procedures and statements to meet the requirements of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016

Developing Policies, Procedures and Statements in Early Childhood Education and Care Services: A Practical Guide
Beartais, Nósanna Imeachta agus Ráitis a Fhorbairt I Seirbhísí Oideacha agus Chúram na Luath-Óige Treoir Phraiticiúil

How to use the sample Policies and Templates.  Conas na Samplaí agus Teimpléid Pholasaí a Úsáid

The samples/templates provided here are to support you, as an early years provider, to develop your own set of policies, procedures and statements to meet the requirements of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. The samples/templates offer an additional support to the information provided on the core requirements in the appendices of the Tusla: Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF). It is essential that you refer to the QRF when writing and reviewing any of your policies, procedures and statements.

Sample Policy Polasaí Samplach Um Thurais Bheaga

This sample policy provides information on the structure used for the sample/policies

Sample Polices and Templates.

It is essential that a set of policies, procedures and statements is developed particular to the service setting, the type of service operated,the families who use the service and to the particular context of the service.

Childminding Sample Polices Procedures and statements. 

These template and samples may assist childminders in developing or revising their own set of required policies, procedures and statements. These suggested samples and templates are just that – samples will need to be adapted to reflect the Childminding Service.

Refer to the QRF when writing any of the policies that are required.

Additional Resources.

The resources here offer additional support to the information provided on the core requirements in the appendices of the Tusla Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF).

Context of Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland  | Comhthéacs an Oideachais agus Cúraim Luath-Óige in Éirinn

This document gives information on significant developments in the early childhood sector at local, national and European Commission levels over the last 12 years.

Rights of the Child  |  Cearta an Lindh

This document gives information on the rights of the child which will be a major consideration across all areas of policy and policy development.

Tusla : Early Years Inspectorate the Statutory Regulator

A recent publication available here.

Quality Early Years Care and Education: What to Look for in an Early Years Service

This resource will support parents in consulting with early learning and care providers and in choosing a service if they are selecting a setting for their child for the first time.

The ebook covers areas such as children's rights; relationships and attachment; interactions; social, emotional and behavioural development; the learning environment; and management of the setting. It is available here.

if you would like hard copies to give to parents in your service, email Barnardos  resources@barnardos.ie to place an order.        

When should my child return to School/Childcare 

Infectious diseases are a major cause of illness among children attending school and childcare. The infographic available below was designed to prevent or minimise the spread of infection, illness and disease to children, staff and others (such as student teachers and volunteers). It provides advice for parents when their child develops symptoms of some of the common childhood illnesses about whether their child should stay out of school or childcare. 

English | Irish 

Stop the Spread of Infection (download or order posters from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)

Tusla Early Years Inspectorate are delighted to work in collaboration with our colleagues in the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) to  advice you of the opportunity to download or order posters specifically developed for young children on  hand washing and respiratory etiquette and hygiene.

The following link  gives access to the hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene posters that are bi-lingual, printed in Irish on one side and English on the reverse. 

There is also access to general hand hygiene leaflets/posters and posters for older children/teenagers.

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