Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

State Laws Pertaining To Early Childhood Care And Education In Ireland

The Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) (Amendment) Regulations were formulated as part of Part VII of the Child Care Act 1991. It outlines the measures which should be undertaken in order to implement the requirements stated in the Act. The Regulations comprise an Explanatory Guide to Requirements and Procedures for Notification and Inspection. It extends guidance on ensuring good practice in connection to the areas that have been already covered by the Regulation. The Regulation comprises the following aspects:

Staffing and Management:

The law pertaining to this aspect of childcarestates that an individual operating such a pre-school service needs to ensure that a certain number of competent and skilled adults are appointed to supervise the children at all times, when they are attending a crche or a day care centre. The term competent can be explained in this context to denote people who are over 18 years of age and possess the necessary training and experience when it comes to caring for children below 6 years of age. A background check or inspection should be done for all the volunteers, staff and students who enjoy access to the child. It is necessary to seek references while employing the staff at a preschool or any other childcare facility.

Development of the Child and their Health and Welfare:

An individual who starts out a pre-school service should ensure that the development, learning and overall well being of the child take place in a suitable environment. The environment is created by providing adequate opportunities, interaction, equipments and materials, activities and experience. All these should commensurate with the age of the little one, the cultural context of the child and the current stage of development of the child. Facilities that extend child care in Dublin need to take stock of all these aspects.

Medical Assistance and First Aid:

Each of the schools should have a well-equipped first aid box in order to make arrangements for every kind of medical assistance in case of an emergency.

The HSE can put a limit to the maximum number of students who can be admitted to a pre-school at one point of time. This is done to ensure that the schools are not overcrowded at any point of time. The HSE suggests limiting numbers and the pre-school service providers need to be informed in this regard. They can approach the HSE with their own set of recommendations.

It is necessary to maintain a register of pre-school children. It is the duty of the service provider to ensure that a register is maintained containing the detail records of each and every child including their name, contact numbers of their parents, their date of birth and even the details of the childs doctors.

The parents should acquire all information about the service, be it crches, childminders and drop in centre. They should have the complete details of the staff employed at the centre, the maximum number of children enrolled at the centre and their age, the fee, operation hours, type of care provided, the adult/child ratio and the facilities.

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