A childminder is a person who provides a safe, caring, stimulating environment for a relatively small, mixed age group of children, for more than 2 hours per day, in the childminders own home. The hours can be full time, part time or flexible (and may include an overnight service) to suit parents and childminder. Parents and childminder negotiate their own terms of payment, hours of placement etc.
Childminding is valued as another option for parents when choosing the type of childcare that suits the needs of their family. It is the traditional model of childcare in Ireland. Childminding represents the largest type of childcare being used by families of early years children in the country today.
The National Action Plan for Childminding is a pathway to be developed over the next 8 years that sets out steps towards regulation, support and subsidies, for all paid, non-relative childminders. The Action Plan will involve change and significant benefits for childminders, children and the families using their services.
The aim of the Action Plan is to provide greater recognition for childminding and to support childminders in their work of providing high quality early learning and care and school age childcare, thus supporting child development and learning outcomes and helping families.