Minimum Standards For Childminding and Day Care for Children Under Age 12
The Childminding and Daycare Standards were launched in October 2012. Their primary aim is to provide assurance of a consistent level of quality in childminding and daycare services and to ensure a consistent regional approach to registration and inspection of these services.
There are three categories of childcare setting that are required to register with Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCT) – childminders, full day care and sessional day care.
Health and Social Care Trusts are responsible for registering and inspecting these services against the requirements laid down in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995. The standards have been developed in this context, and aim to clarify the requirements contained in the legislation. This will ensure a regional approach to registration and inspection which will in turn mean that children and their parents who use these services, along with service providers, can have confidence that all services will be measured against the same benchmark.
Minimum standards are exactly that – the minimum level of service that has to be provided in order to pass an inspection and be registered with a HSC Trust.
There are 17 minimum standards that registered providers must adhere to and they are grouped under 4 headings:
- Quality of Care
- Quality of Staffing, Management and Leadership
- Quality of the Physical Environment
- Quality of Monitoring and Evaluation
A fifth section outlines the required policies and procedures registered providers must hold.
Guidance documents have been developed following the launch of the minimum standards to provide additional support in relation to consistent implementation of the standards.
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