General Information on the New Early Years Registration System
Under Section 92, Child and Family Agency Act 2013, the new Child and Family Agency is required to provide for a system of registration of Early Years Services. This means that all new Early Years service providers will have to register with the Agency and undergo an inspection before commencing operation. Existing services will be deemed registered on an interim basis but will be required to apply for registration and undergo an inspection in due course.
The model of registration is in its final stages of design and will replace Section 10, Child Care Pre-School Regulations 2006 which simply required service providers to notify the relevant authority of their intention to commence operations. The main difference for service providers is that previously new services were inspected after commencing operation, while under the registration system services cannot operate unless they have passed an inspection by the Child and Family Agency.
New Registrations Tusla :
All persons proposing to operate an early years service in Ireland are legally required to register that
service with Tusla – Child and Family Agency.
Part 12 of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, and Part II of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, set out the statutory requirements for registration applications.
In addition, the legislation sets out the responsibilities of applicants, as well as the responsibilities of Tusla in its assessments of received applications. It is an offence to operate an early years service without being registered to do so, and the Early Years Inspectorate applies sanctions on those who do not uphold the terms and conditions of their registration.
The purpose of registration is to provide assurance to the public that those who intend to engage in early years service provision understand their legal responsibilities, are able to provide suitable and safe premises and are sanctioned by an independent statutory regulator.
The application process:
Potential early years service providers must make an application under section 58D (2) of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 at least 3 months before intending to commence operation of an earlyyears service.
The application must be in the format set down in the regulations. In August 2019, Tusla replaced paper-based applications with an online registration application portal.
This portal can be found on the Tusla website at : https://portal.tusla.ie/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2f.
Once an application is received the applicant will receive an acknowledgement email. The application is then assessed in accordance with the regulations.
The applicant will be advised if their application is complete, if there are any items of information missing, or if clarifications are required. It is the
responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all information required is supplied in the format requested.
Applications are assessed by Tusla in two parts:
part 1: desk assessment and verification of the application information
part 2: on-site assessment and inspection of the premises intended for use as an early years setting, known as a fit for purpose (FFP) assessment