Tusla, the independent statutory regulator, are nearing the end of the first period of registration for those providers that were registered since the introduction of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years) Regulations 2016. Services were initially registered via the statutory declaration process introduced in 2016. Registration cycles are prescribed by legislation for a period of three years. Three months prior to expiration, providers are required to renew their registration via application. Conditions apply to a cycle of registration and cannot automatically be carried over into a new registration cycle. It is incumbent upon the provider to comply with their conditions when applied so that they can be removed. Services will be assessed to determine compliance with conditions and it is policy to refer contravention of conditions to enforcement.
Conditions are attached to a services registration for various reasons. Such conditions are reviewed on an on-going basis and many have specific time frames attached as set out below:
- Where a provider has not addressed a noncompliance which impacts the safety of children
- Where there is a high level of noncompliance found on inspection
- To limit the number of children attending due to over crowding identified on inspection
- To limit the age profile as the facilities are not suitable
- To limit the type of service provided eg from full day care to sessional provision.
Tusla inspection reports and the register of early years services outline any conditions in place and this information is available on the Tusla website.
There are approximately 4,500 early years services registered with Tusla, all of which are inspected on a regular basis and in response to risks, including conditions attached. The information on number of services with conditions is not available on a county basis, but is provided below on the basis of the Inspectorate's eight regions, with information as of the end of August 2019.
Region/No. of Services with Conditions
Dublin South 88
Dublin North 113
Dublin & North East 120
North West 35
South East 57
South West 83
The conditions on all services are currently under review in preparation for the renewal of registrations, which will be completed by the end of this year. This process is likely to result in a decrease in the number of services with conditions attached.