- National Childminding Initiative and Guidelines
- Parent & Toddler Group Initiative
- School-Age Childcare Initiative
- Diversity and Equality Guidelines
The National Childminding Initiative provides supports for childminders and for people interested in becoming childminders. It is administered locally by the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs). A first step to becoming a childminder would be to contact your local City and County Childcare Committee to avail of their Quality Awareness Lecture Programme. On completion of this programme, childminders may avail of a capital grant of up to €630 under the Childminder Development Grant Scheme. This can be used to buy safety equipment, toys or to make minor adjustments to the childminder's home to enhance or establish the childminding service.
A set of guidelines, recently launched by the Office of the Minister for Children, will assist childminders by providing guidance for good practice in the area.
The Parent and Toddler Group Initiative is a strategic partnership between the Office of the Minister for Children and the Katharine Howard Foundation (KHF) under the National Childcare Investment Programme 2006-2010.
The primary purpose of the initiative is to provide grants to parent and toddler groups for the development of their services. It is also designed to develop a support and information strategy, in collaboration with the City and County Childcare Committees, to assist the promotion and expansion of Parent and Toddler Groups. This initiative also works closely with other agencies and organisations that already provide valuable ongoing support to these groups, ensuring a collaborative approach.
The report Developing School-Age Childcare was published in 2005 and sets out guidelines for the delivery of a quality service. It also makes recommendations for the development of school-age childcare to support the childcare needs of parents, including the use of school premises (where appropriate) as a location to develop a quality school-age childcare service. It is hoped that the publication of this report will give greater impetus to the future development of school-age childcare at local level. The 33 City and County Childcare Committees have a major role to play in advancing this new initiative.
The Diversity and Equality Guidelines were launched in December 2006 to support childcare practitioners, early childhood teachers, managers and policy-makers in their exploration, understanding and development of diversity and equality practice.