Industry responds to Tusla Early Years proposals

January 31, 2023

Cabinet today considered proposals to strengthen the enforcement powers of the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate where there is serious non-compliance by early learning and childcare services. 
Childhood Services Ireland (CSI), the Ibec group that represents the industry, supports the immediate and temporary closure of a service where there is serious non-compliance by childcare services. As such measures are significant, CSI believes appropriate control mechanisms should be adopted to reinforce such powers which should include a defined list of infractions which may result in closure, a defined closure period with corrective measures highlighted, an internal sign-off process for closure enforcement involving higher levels of management, and a childcare provider’s right to appeal the decision.    
The quality of childcare and compliance levels in Ireland are high. It is important for parents to be aware of the quality of the service at which their child attends. In addition to the publicly accessible Tusla reports of each childcare service, childcare providers should provide information to parents when requested to keep them informed of compliance.   
Expanding the National Childcare Scheme to provide subsidies for parents attending registered childminders is a positive step in addressing affordability of childcare. It also incentivises more childminders to become registered which means quality of childcare will improve.