Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Types of early years service

There are different types of early years services and the type you choose will be based on the needs of your child and your family.

A preschool service means any preschool, play group, day nursery, crèche, day care or any similar service that cares for children who are not yet attending a recognised school.

Childminding Service:

One  person cares for children single-handedly in the childminder’s own home 2 hours or more per day.

Sessional pre-school service:

Offers a planned programme for not more than 3.5 hours a session.

Part-time day care service:

Offers a structured day care service for more than 3.5 hours but less than 5 hours a day.

Full day care service:

Offers a structured day care service for more than 5 hours a day.

Pre-school service in a Drop-in- Centre:

Offers day care which is only to be used now and again on a casual basis, and for not more than 2 hours while the parent or guardian is availing of a service or attending an event (for example going shopping).

Temporary pre-school service:

Offers day care only on a temporary basis. Examples include once off events such as a conference or a sports event.

Overnight pre-school service:

Pre-school children are taken care of for more than 2 hours between the hours of 7pm and 6am.

Note: A childminder caring for a relative’s children, caring for children from the same family or caring for up to 3 children from different families is not required to register with Tusla Early Years Inspectorate.

You can download the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate 'Who we are and what we do' leaflet here
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