It is the duty of every person carrying on a preschool service to take all reasonable measures to safeguard the Health, Safety and Welfare of the children attending the service and to comply with the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and the Child Care Regulations (The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services)( Amendments) Regulations 2016.

The Early Years sector is currently inspected by the following:

  •  Tusla 
  •  Department of Education
  •  Pobal 

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has responsibility for Regulations and for developing policy in the Early Years sector.

Under the Child Care Act 1991 as amended by the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 the Child and Family Agency (Tusla)  Early Years Inspectorate is charged with ensuring the health, safety and welfare of pre-school children attending services. Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare service providers are required to notify Tusla – the Child and Family Agency that they are providing services.

All published inspection reports can be accessed on

Information Leaflet for Parent: HERE     

Tusla has published a Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF), to help childcare services to comply with the Childcare Regulations. The QRF designed around the quality and safety of the care provided to children.

The Department of Education carries out Early Years Education Focused Inspections(EYEIs) in early learning and care (ELC) services participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme. During these inspections, the Department of Education evaluates the quality of the nature, range and appropriateness of the early educational experiences for children participating in the ECCE Programme. Inspection reports are valuable published resources for parents when choosing quality childcare. The inspection reports are published and can be viewed through the Department of Education website.

Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), conducts compliance visits with each participating childcare service who operates one or more of the National Childcare Programmes. Pobal Compliance Checklists are available on HIVE.

We advise services to maintain a compliance folder/file which can be made readily available to the visiting officer on arrival. This will ensure minimum disruption and speed up the compliance visit. We understand that some services file their records in other ways, but records must be available to enable the visiting officer to complete the compliance visit in a reasonable timescale.  There should always be a staff member on site with access to the compliance folder/records in the event of an unannounced visit.

Carlow County Childcare Committee’ Development Officer’s are available to support Early Years services in relation to statutory regulations,

Contact 059 9140244.