The Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations, 1996, which give effect to the provisions of Part VII of the Child Care Act, 1991, provide for notification to, rather than registration, and inspection by health boards of pre-school services. The regulations apply to pre-schools, playgroups, day nurseries, crèches, childminders looking after more than three children and other similar services which cater for children under six years of age.
Under the regulations, pre-school providers are obliged to notify their local health board that they are carrying on or proposing to carry on a pre-school service. On receipt of notification the health board will provide relevant information to the applicant and arrange for an inspection to be carried out by an authorised person. Based on the most up-to-date information available from the health boards, excluding the Eastern Regional Health Authority area, the numbers of notifications to health boards are as follows: