Childminder legislation change 'won't cover nannies in the home'

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman plans to change the legal status of childminders
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.09 31 Jan 2023

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Childminder legislation change...

Childminder legislation change 'won't cover nannies in the home'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.09 31 Jan 2023

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New Government subsidies for childminders will not cover nannies who come to work in people's homes.

Childminder Anne Ryan said it can be confusing exactly what is covered, amid plans to change the legal status of childminders.

Currently, the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) provides financial support to help parents with childcare costs.


The subsidies are paid directly to childcare providers; however, they must be registered with Tusla to qualify.

In Ireland, very few childminders are registered, meaning most do not qualify for the subsidies.

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman is seeking Cabinet approval to change their legal status - making them eligible for the subsidies, benefitting thousands of parents.

On The Pat Kenny Show however, Childminder Anne Ryan warned that the changes will not cover all childminders.

"I think something we need to make clear, which is very confusing for a lot of people when they're talking about childminding, [is] it's only people who are self-employed," she said.

"They're working in their own homes looking after other people's children.

"If you're minding in a parents house - one of the children's houses - you're actually classed as a nanny.

"So that doesn't come into it under what they're talking about just now; you have to be in your own home minding the children".

Tusla registered

Ms Ryan said the rules around registering with Tusla can be restrictive.

"Currently, the legislation states that you have to have a fourth minded child before you can register with Tusla," she said.

"Most childminders don't want to have four children; they have their own kids at home – they want just to have maybe one or two children that they're minding."

childcare File photo of a toddler playing with toys. Picture by: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

She said all this does not cover nannies who work in the home of others.

"The nanny comes under a whole different childcare area," she said.

"In Ireland especially, it's very confusing - a lot of people hear 'childminder' and just assume that's anybody who looks after a child.

"There is different definitions for both: a nanny works in the parents household, they usually just mind one family, and it's up to those parents to be employers to that person.

"As a childminder, which is what they're talking about today with the legislation, you work in your own home and you are self-employed".

'That puts a lot of people off'

She said many people are put off registering because of the inspection requirements.

"I think a big thing which always comes up in conversations is because you're working in your own home, that you don't want an inspector coming in and inspecting your house," she said.

"As a Tusla-registered minder, I know that Tusla can turn up on my doorstep at any time and inspect my house.

"I think that puts a lot of people off".

'People will not have the space'

Ms Ryan said some of the regulations stood out to her on her last inspection.

"If I want to have two babies and a toddler that I'm minding, that they each have to have their own wooden standard cot.

"The wooden cots have to be at least 50cm apart in whichever room that you're using for the children to go to sleep in.

"In a standard two or three-bedroom house, people will not have that amount of space to have that amount of cots".

She said Minister O'Gorman should talk to people on the ground.

"When they're doing this action plan that's coming in place, and the change in legislation, the Government need to talk to childminders who are actually on the ground working.

"That's kind of a different part of it, but that also lacks as well.

"The consultation with childminders who are working currently is very, very minimal," she added.

Main image: A childminder playing with children in her home. Picture by: Hager fotografie / Alamy Stock Photo

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Anne Ryan Childminder Childminder Legislation Nannies Roderic O'Gorman The Pat Kenny Show Tusla Registered

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