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Introduction for Parents

This section of our website has been designed for Parents who need information on Childcare provision in Fingal.

Choosing Childcare

Choosing a good quality early years’ service for your child is very important for children’s early learning and development. Many parents are unsure what to look out for to ensure they are choosing a quality early years’ service. The following information will assist you in making your decision.


Types of Childcare

There are a variety of options available when it comes to arranging childcare for your children. What suits you best depends on practical issues such as the hours that you work or study, where you live and the availability of places, as well as any personal preferences you may have for choosing a home or centre-based environment for your child. When choosing childcare it is important to take an honest look at what is best for your child’s personality and your parenting style.

In Fingal we have a large number of Childcare Providers. Childcare services may provide full time, part-time, sessional and school-age services. Fees charged are generally at the discretion of the childcare service. There are three categories of childcare providers, they are:

Private Childcare Providers:
Private Providers offer quality childcare services that are run as private businesses. These childcare services range from small businesses that are operated by sole traders to large childcare facilities that are operated by companies, some of which may have a number of different childcare facilities in different locations.

Community Childcare Providers:
Community Childcare Providers offer community based, not-for-profit childcare services. A Community Childcare Service is run by a voluntary Board of Management.

A Childminder is a self-employed person who minds other people’s children in their own home.


Government Funded Programmes

Currently there are three government funded childcare programmes available to parenting they are:

Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE):
The Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education Programme is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to a free year of pre-school education in the year before they start primary school. Click here for more information.



Community Childcare Subvention Programme (CCS):
The Community Childcare Subvention Programme (CCS) is a support programme for community-based childcare services to provide quality childcare at a reduced rate to parents. It enables community childcare services to reduce fees for parents in receipt of certain social welfare payments, Family Income Supplement, and holders of medical cards and GP visit cards. Participation in the CCS programme is restricted to community / not-for-profit childcare services. 

Training and Employment Childcare Programme (TEC):
The objective of the TEC programme is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work by providing subsidised childcare places.
There are 3 strands of the TEC programme:

  1. Childcare Education and Training Supports (CETS)
  2. After-School Child Care programme (ASCC)
  3. Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC)


Types of Provision offered by Childcare Providers

Over 5 hours, age range 0-6 years. Services covered under this definition are those offering a structured full day service for children which may include a part-time service and a sessional service also.

Up to 5 hours, age range 0-6 years. Services covered under this definition may include a sessional pre-school service for pre-school children not attending the part-time day care service. The service must provide the same physical environment including rest, play and sanitary facilities as for full day services.

Up to 3.5 hours, age range 2 years 10 months – 6 years. Services covered under this definition may include pre-school, playgroups, Montessori pre-schools, naoínraí.

One morning per week, age range between 0-2.5 years. A Parent & Toddler Group is a local support group where parents and carers can meet to compare notes and develop friendships in a safe and friendly environment while their children play and socialise together. In a Parent & Toddler Group, each parent or carer is responsible for their own children at all times. Click here for more information on P&T Groups in Fingal.

People who mind children for all or part of a day in the childminders home. Childminders who care for up to 5 children are legally required to notify their service to the Health Service Executive, they receive an inspection from the pre-school services officer. Childminders who care for 3 children or less are invited to voluntarily notify their service to FCCC. These Childminders receive an advisory visit to their home from the Childminding Advisory Officer of FCCC. Click here for more information.

Age range 6–12 years. An out of school service is provided and takes responsibility for children when they are not in the school setting i.e. before school, after school and during school holidays. Out of school services should operate on the basis of an agreement between parents/carers and staff with on-going structured links with local schools.