Childminders who are registered with Tusla and have a minimum Level 6 qualification in childcare (a list of recognised qualifications are available on www.dcya.gov.ie) are eligible to provide the ECCE programme.
Under the ECCE programme rules, there must be a minimum of eight ECCE-eligible children in an ECCE session. Childminders must apply for an exemption from this requirement and will be approved where they have five ECCE-eligible children.
An expert working group report on child-minding was presented to me on 26 March 2018 which makes important recommendations on the childminding sector. The report, Pathway to a Quality Support and Assurance System for Childminding in Ireland, outlines a vision for the development of the childminding sector over the next decade. DCYA is currently considering the recommendations contained in the report and it is anticipated that an action plan containing short, medium, and long-term goals for the sector will be published within the next year. This action plan will inform the direction of the development of the childminding sector and various supports, including whether or not ECCE is suitable long-term for childminders.