Why? Registration means:
- You are complying with the law
- You provide 'peace of mind' for parents are a safe, inspected environment for children
- Parents can claim help with their childcare costs
UNREGISTERED CHILDMINDING – the unsolved problem?
Registered Childminding is the largest childcare sector in Northern Ireland, offering good quality, affordable and flexible childcare. There are currently 3,100 registered childminders offering places for over 17,000 children, a figure which has dropped by over 20% in the last 4 years, with a loss of more than 800 providers.
27% of all those childminders surveyed stated that they knew of one or two unregistered childminders operating in their area. A further 10% stated that they knew of three or more unregistered childminders operating in their area.
The law is very clear: anybody looking after children for more than 2 hours a day, for reward, MUST register with the Health & Social Care Trust.
The Children Order (1995) NI Guidance and Regulations states that the purpose of registration is:
- To protect children
- To provide reassurance to persons using childcare
- To ensure that services meet acceptable standards
- To ensure that people wishing to provide services for children do so within an agreed framework
- Article 132 states:
“In the case of a childminder, it is an offence to look after children aged under twelve whilst unregistered”
Not only does operating illegally potentially put children at risk, it also makes it harder for law-abiding registered childminders to survive when they are faced with this unfair competition.