Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Choosing an early years service

Choosing an early an early years service is often one of the first and most significant decisions that a parent/guardian will make. It is important therefore that the service you choose for your baby or young child is a safe and nurturing place where your child will grow and develop to his or her full potential. The following may be helpful when choosing an early years service:

Visit the service

Before you visit the early years service make an appointment as this will ensure that the manager has time to talk with you and show you the service (restrictions may apply during Covid 19 pandemic).

Make a list of questions.

You may find it useful to make a list of questions before you visit the service as it quite easy to forget important questions once you are in the service.

Quick Checklist.

This quick checklist might help you when planning and choosing your childcare service:

Getting started:

Visiting the service

Is it a quality service?

Other issues

Policies and procedures.

All early services are required to have information for parents which tells them about the service. This includes policies and  procedures on how:

  • healthy eating is promoted
  • outdoor play is supported
  • suitable safe sleep facilities are provided
  • medication is safely administered and stored
  • the spread of Infection is prevented
  • safety risks to children are identified, minimised or eliminated.
  • positive behaviour is promoted and challenging behaviour supported
  • your child is settled into the service and prepared for transition to primary school
  • complaints from parents/guardians are received and managed

A full list of the policies and procedures an early years service is required to have is available here 

Information for parents.

A parent’s handbook or information about the service is available to parents.

You can download the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate 'Choosing an early years service' leaflet here
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