Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

What to expect from an early years service

Every parent/guardian wants their child to be safe and happy in the service. Parents/guardians want their child’s holistic development to be supported in a nurturing and encouraging environment of care, where each child’s curiosity and interest are developed and extended through play.

Tusla registered early years services are required to:
  • Safeguard the health, safety and welfare of children attending the service
  • Comply with early years legislation and regulations
As a parent or guardian you can expect that:
  • Your child will be safe and happy in the service
  • Your child’s development and learning will be supported in a nurturing environment
  • The early learning and care service is well managed
In order to keep children safe, there are number of regulations that services must follow, such as:
  • Children are supervised at all times
  • There is a person qualified in first aid
  • There are child protection policies and practices in place
  • All risks are assessed and dealt with, for example, safe sleep, infection control and safe drop off and collection procedures
  • Fire safety measures are in place
  • The service is adequately insured
As parent /guardian you can expect the Health Welfare and development of your child is supported and promoted in the service:
  • Your child’s need for food, drink, rest, sleep, quiet time, nappy changing, toileting, personal care and mobility is supported
  • Positive relationships and interactions between children, adults and families are supported
  • Cultural diversity is valued
  • Children’s individual strengths, needs and preferences are supported
  • Childrens curiosity and creativity is supported through play
  • Children are supported to take risks, explore and think, have quiet time and play with their friends both indoors and outdoors every day
  • Children are supported in their transitions – for example, coming to and going from the service, changing activities, moving to other groups and progressing to primary school
  • Children are welcomed, are secure and enjoy being engaged in their play and learning
As a parent /Guardian you can expect that the service is well managed. An early years service provider is required to have the following:
  • The most recent Tusla inspection report is available
  • There is a person in charge always on the premises
  • Staff including childminders have Garda vetting (and police vetting if required) and references.
  • Childminder/staff are qualified
  • The correct adult / child ratios are in place
  • A clear process for managing complaints and accidents and incidents
  • Up to date policies and procedures
The early years premises must be safe, suitable and appropriate for the care and education of children. As a parent /guardian you can expect that:
  • The premises is well maintained both indoors and outdoors
  • The premises are clean and bright with natural light and good ventilation.
  • The rooms are at a comfortable temperature for rest and play
  • There are suitable sleep/rest arrangements in place and each child under 2 years has access to a cot to sleep /rest 

You can download the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate 'What to expect from an early years service' leaflet here
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