All childcare providers, practitioners and Tusla notified childminders must avail of Garda Vetting for all their staff, students and volunteers, under the Child Care (Pre-school Services) Regulations 2016. Every service must have evidence of their Garda Vetting on the premises, for example, an original certificate confirming the completion of the Garda Vetting process.
Two of the requirements within the regulations are:
‘Any person carrying on a pre-school service is required to ensure appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers who have access to a child.’
‘Such vetting procedures shall be carried out prior to any person being appointed or assigned or being allowed access to a child in the pre-school service’
This should be done by:
(a) Reviewing past employer references in particular the most recent employer reference in respect of all staff
(b) Referring to references from reputable sources in respect of all students and volunteers
(c) Acquiring Garda vetting from An Garda Síochána when An Garda Síochána have set down procedures to make such vetting available
(d) In circumstances where Garda vetting is not available for staff, students and volunteers who have lived outside the jurisdiction, by ensuring that these persons provide the necessary police vetting from other public authorities.
It is good practice that all pre-school services have management, recruitment and training policies, including a policy regarding vetting and possible outcomes for both new and existing employees, students and volunteers. Good practice would also suggest that you have your existing staff vetted every three years. Organisation who carry out the Garda Vetting process for childcare providers are:
Barnardos Vetting Service The Bowling Green, White Street, Cork. Phone: 021 4547060 Website: www.barnardos.ie/vettingservice.htm
Early Childhood Organisation Early Childhood Ireland, Hainault House, Belgard Square,Tallaght, Dublin 24
Tel: 01 4057100
Fax: 01 4057109
Frequently Asked Questions
I am a childminder, does this legislation apply to me?
Childminders who are required by law to notify Tusla are bound by the Child Care (Pre-school Services) Regulations along with all other pre-school service providers.
Childminders who are not required by law to notify Tusla may voluntarily notify the existence of the service, if they wish.
I have not notified Tusla of my service, either on a statutory or voluntary basis, can I still access vetting through Barnardos?
Yes, the Barnardos’ Vetting Service will provide vetting for all categories of childminders and pre-school services, who are not members of Early Childhood Ireland.
How do I apply for vetting for myself, my staff/students/volunteers?
All childcare providers wishing to avail of the Barnardos’ Vetting Service should in the first instance contact Barnardos as per the contact details above.
Following registration with the Barnardos’ Vetting Service, they will then have a choice of whether to attend the next available regional training session or receive an Information Guidance Pack, which includes the application form.
I know of another pre-school service who would like to access the Barnardos’ Vetting Service, can I give them a copy of this pack?
No, the Barnardos’ Vetting Service can only process applications for organisations/childminders who have individually registered with them.
Anyone wishing to access the Barnardos’ Vetting Service should contact us directly in the first instance using the contact details provided.
What happens with the results?
Once processed by the Garda Vetting Unit and returned to the Barnardos’ Vetting Service, vetting application results will be returned to the line manager/contact person from each organisation.
Please note that once the Garda Vetting Unit & the Barnardos’ Vetting Service discloses data to the childcare provider, the provider is responsible for the data.
What happens if convictions are returned?
The Barnardos’ Vetting Service has no decision making role in relation to vetting results. The decision about whether to employ/continue employment/volunteering is the childcare providers.
Should a conviction in relation to a childminder or operator/proprietor of a childcare facility be disclosed to Barnardos which gives cause for concern in relation to the welfare of children, Tusla in the area where the person giving rise to concern resides or works will be notified.
By availing of the vetting system, childminders & childcare practitioners can offer reassurance to parents that they are suitable to provide personal care and attention to their child. Garda Vetting is an important step in protecting the safety and welfare of the children in your care. Having a written Child Protection Policy and Procedures and ensuring parents are aware of such procedures is another aspect, as is training in the Children First 2011.
Tipperary Childcare Committee are always available to help with your queries on Garda Vetting.