Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

643 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of crèches, nurseries and child minders registered with each health board to date; the numbers estimated to be unregistered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20477/00]

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:

Health Board

No. of Facilities Notified

Eastern Regional Health Authorityarea

*

Midland Health Board

200

Mid-Western Health Board

354

North-Eastern Health Board

316

North-Western Health Board

217

South-Eastern Health Board

340

Southern Health Board

583

Western Health Board

365

*Information from the Eastern Regional Health Authority is not yet to hand. I will forward it to the Deputy when available.
Precise information on the number of pre-school providers who have not complied with the notification requirements is difficult to compile. Notifications to the health boards are ongoing as new facilities come on stream. Health boards continue to take steps to pursue pre-school providers who have not complied with the regulations.