FAQ for Setting up a Childminding Service

FAQ's Frequently Asked Questions

It is the number of minded children at any one time that counts. You could be minding different children at different times.


  • A pre-school child is a child who has not reached 6 years of age and who is not attending a primary school or any other school that provides similar service.
  • School age children are children that have already started in National School, Secondary School, a private primary school, or are more than 6 years old.
  • Babies are up to 15 months old.
  • Insurance companies may only count children up to 14 years old.
  • The law counts everyone under the age of 18 years as a child.

Under the Child Care Act 1991

If you are registered with Tusla as a pre-school childminder, you can mind:

  •  Up to 5 pre-school children, including your own pre-schoolers.
  • Only two of these can
    be babies (up to 15 months old), except in exceptional circumstances, like
    minding triplets.
  • You can also mind
    school children at the same time.
  • If minding overnight,
    the maximum is 3 children under 12 months, or 5 children under 6 years,
    per minding adult.

If you are registered with Tusla as a school age childminder, you may mind up to 6 children under local planning regulations, or up to 12 children with change of use planning permission.


If you are not registered with Tusla, you can mind:

  • up to three unrelated preschool children, under an exemption in the Child Care Act 1991.
  • This excludes your own pre-school children.
  • You can also mind school age children at the same time.

If you mind no more than 3 children under the age of 18 at any one time, you may avail of the Childcare Services Tax Relief Scheme.

 Under local planning regulations

A childminding service is defined as having 6 or fewer children in the home at one time by local authorities and is considered exempted development.

However, if you mind or intend to mind 7 or more children of any age, including your own, you must get change of use planning permission from your local council. This is due to traffic, water, and sewage considerations, and you may be liable for water rates as a business.

In rented accommodation

Local councils may allow tenants to mind up to 6 children at a time, including their own children once the service is registered
with Tusla.

Private renters must get permission from the landlord/owner to mind children in a rented accommodation.

In either case, you should make sure that you have appropriate insurance to cover the service.

Garda vetting is best practice for all childminders. Anyone who has access to children should be vetted by the National Vetting Bureauaccording to the law. It is a legal requirement for Tusla registered childminders, and it is recommended as best practice for all childminders. Childminders should contact Barnardos Vetting Service in Cork for further information. This is a free service.

Phone: 021 454 7060 Email: vetting@barnardos.ie

It may take up to 2-3 weeks to receive the results of your vetting.

Child Safeguarding and childminders

Tusla registered childminders are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015, with legal responsibility to report harm of children to Tusla and assist where requested. 

All childminders have a duty of care to report child protection concerns to Tusla under the Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

Where possible, Childminders are advised to attend in-person Always Children First Child Safeguarding Awareness Training.

For more information check: Child Safeguarding


As a professional childminder, at is highly recommended to have a written parent contract in place for your service, along with a child record form. See sample record keeping forms from the national team of Childminding Development Officers.

Other recommended policies include:

  • Partnership with Parents
  • Positive Behaviour Management
  • Health and Safety
  • Child Protection
  • Confidentiality

See sample policies and procedures by the national team.

It is highly advisable to get childminding insurance for your home and for your car, if you use it to transport minded children.
  • Home insurance: Many insurance companies will amend your existing home insurance policy to include the care of children in your home. If you currently have home insurance, check with your insurance provider.
  • Car insurance: If you are transporting children in your own car, ensure you have adequate insurance coverage as well.
  • Childminding insurance: Childminding Ireland offers a tailored insurance scheme for its members, which covers up to 6 children including childminders’ own children up to 14 years of age. This is highly recommended if you do not own your home.

Childminders must register with Revenue as a self-employed sole trader, and then file an income tax return annually, along with payment of income tax, Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) and Universal Social Charge (USC).

Childminders earning €15,000 or less a year may avail of the Childcare Services Tax Relief Scheme, pay no income tax or USC and the minimum €500 per annum onPRSI.

For more tips and guidance on becoming a childminder see:

A Guide to Becoming a Childminder

Childminder Registration

If you are an existing childminder or new childminder and wish to become a Tusla registered childminder you have to apply through Tusla Registration Office.

If you require assistance with this process please feel free to contact South Dublin County Childcare Committee on 01 457 0122. Find out more & start your application:

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