Choosing A Service

There are a number of different choices available for parents seeking day care for their children.
For working parents who require full time care the three main choices are:

  1. Full day care Crèches
  2. Childminders
  3. School Age Childcare Services

as these offer full time, all day care.

Part time childcare is also available in many settings.

Other options include playgroups or preschools which are usually run on a Sessional or Part Time basis. All childcare providers are required to notify to the HSE. Some families may prefer to employ a nanny who comes into their home, currently nannies are not registered with the HSE.

If you are planning to use childcare, it is advisable to investigate your options and arrange your childcare as soon as possible as many childcare providers have a waiting list. When choosing childcare it is important to look at how the various childcare providers will meet you and your child’s individual needs.

Take time to visit providers in your area.

Make a list of what is important to you, write down questions you have for the childcare provider before you visit and telephone to make an appointment.

For example:

  • how will the childcare provider fit in with your working hours
  • Will the childcare provider be able to cater for all of your children i.e. babies, preschool and school age children?
  • If you are the parent of a disabled child will the childcare provider be prepared to work with you, and your child’s multi – agency team to ensure
  • he/or she will have the appropriate support and encouragement required?
  • Check out the cost and what this includes costs can vary – some providers offer reduced rates for parents on social welfare or reductions for siblings.
  • Is the childcare provider convenient to home or will you have to make long journeys out of your route to work to use the service.

It is advisable to visit the service before you make a decision. There are many things to consider, the most important is: following the visit, are you happy with the service and do you think your child will be happy there.

The important thing to remember is that your child is getting both quality care and education regardless of the type of service you choose.