Are you interested in becoming a Registered Childcare Provider?

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Are you interested in becoming a registered childminder, approved home childcarer or setting up a Day Nursery, Creche, Out of School, Playgroup or Holiday Scheme?

Contact your Early Years Team

If you are looking after children for more than 2 hours per day, for reward, The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 requires you to register with your local Health and Social Care Trust, Early Years Team. Registration is a legal requirement.  It is an offence if a childcare provider is required to register and doesn't.  

Some supervised activities, e.g. uniformed organisations such as Girls/Boys Brigade, are not required to be registered, but if you are in doubt, you should seek advice from the Early Years Team. 

Early Years Teams are teams of social workers and admin staff based within each of the Health & Social Care Trust areas.  

Contact your local Early Years Team for guidance or to register your interest: Find my local Early Years Team.  

Finding Registered and Approved Childcare

Family Support NI list all childcare providers that are Registered and Approved with Health & Social Services in Northern Ireland.

You may want to check what childcare is already available in your area if you are thinking of setting up a childcare business. 

Use our Postcode Search to find Registered and Approved Childcare in your area.  

Registered Childcare Helps Parents

Help with Childcare Costs:

If parents are entitled to financial support to help pay towards their childcare costs, they can only claim these benefits by using Registered or Approved Childcare.  

Peace of mind: 

Parents know that as a registered childcare provider, you are vetted, registered, insured and inspected, and that you adhere to the 'minimum standards' that have been set in place.  

What are the Minimum Standards?

The Minimum Standards specify the 'minimum level' of service to be provided by a childcare provider in order to pass inspection and be registered with the Early Years Team in the Health & Social Care Trust.

Childcare providers must meet the Minimum Standards in order to get and stay registered. The Minimum Standards help to provide assurance of a consistent level of quality of childcare services. They also help to ensure that each of the Early Years Teams within the 5 Health & Social Care Trust areas in Northern Ireland take a consistent approach to the registration and approval process.

The Minimum Standards for Childminding and Daycare were developed to clarify the requirements that are contained within The Children (NI) Order 1995.

You can view the Minimum Standards in more detail in the Related Documents at the bottom of the page.

What is The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995?

The Children (NI) Order 1995 is the legislative framework for Northern Ireland's child protection system. It lays out the legal requirements regarding the care, upbringing and protection of children in Northern Ireland.

These legal requirements affect all people and organisations who work and care for children, whether parents/carers, paid carers or volunteers.

You can view the Order regarding Childminding and Day Care for Young Children in more detail.

Related Documents

Being an Approved Home Childcarer

Minimum Standards

Minimum Standards - Children's Version

Minimum Standards - Implementation Guidance for Early Years

Last Updated: 05/11/2021