Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Early Years Regulations

The key pieces of legislation, including the Regulations relating to Early Years (pre-school) Services, are listed below  

Child Care Act 1991, Section 58 as amended by Part 12 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013 (No 40 of 2013)

This Act established the role and function of Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate and set out the legal basis for the regulation, registration and inspection of all Early Years Services

Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 221/2016)

These regulations set out the specific requirements that Early Years (pre-school) services must legally adhere to. Inspections of services measure compliance against these regulations.

Child Care Regulations (The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Amendments) Regulations 2016. (S.I. No. 632/2016)

This specifically clarified the employment status of people employed under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) in Early Years Services

Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 195/2022)

This enabled a streamlined process for the renewal of registration of Early Years (pre-school) Services  and introduced a requirement for certificates of registration to be issued and displayed

To support services to comply with regulatory requirements the Early Years Inspectorate has developed some useful documents and tools.

Quality and Regulatory Framework

Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF)

The Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF) sets out the core regulatory requirements in a transparent way, bringing together evidence-based, national and international research and best practice in Early Years.

There are separate QRFs for Full Day, Sessional, Childminding and Drop-in Services

EYI Question and Answer Document

Question & Answer document 

The Question & Answer document was developed to designed to support compliance and improvement in the sector by supporting understanding of regulatory requirements in relation to; the registration of a new service, the inspection process, proposed changes to registration status, notification of incidents, fee payments, management of concerns & feedback and the publication of inspection reports.

There are also numerous resources designed to support services on the Early Years Provider Resources section of our website

                                   Early Years Provider Resources


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