What is a childminder?

What is a childminder?

A childminder is a person who minds children in the childminder’s own home. Childminders are self-employed, agree their own terms, fees and conditions with parents, and are responsible for their own tax and PRSI arrangements. Childminding in Ireland is becoming increasingly more popular as an alternative to the traditional creche environment.

Are childminders registered?

Childminders are required to register with Tusla if they are minding more than 6 mixed aged children at any one time. If they mind 3 or less pre-school children only then registration is not required. Registration is also not required if they care for 6 or less school-age children only.

A childminder who is required to register should apply to register as a pre-school childminder if they care for more pre-school children than school-age children, and as a school-age childminder if they care for more school-age children than pre-school children.

All childminders are required to be Garda Vetted before they are looking for childminding jobs. SureSitter is registered as a relevant organisation with An Garda Siochana and so we can garda vet our childminders. For more details see our vetting page.


How much do childminders charge?

The typical daily rate for a childminder in Ireland is €50 per child per day. Hourly rates vary throughout Ireland but a parent can expect to pay anything from €5-10 euro per hour, per child, to be cared for in a childminder’s home. The rate can vary depending on the different services that are offered, for example if meals are included.


Why Choose a Childminder?

There are many childcare options available to families including creches, nannies, and au pairs. Here are some reasons why a childminder might suit your families needs:

  1. Flexibility:  – Children can be cared for on a full or part-time basis and accommodate the varying needs of working parents particularly given that a lot of working parents are no longer working standard 9am-5pm hours.
  2. Interaction with other children: unlike a nanny who works exclusively for one family, a childminder will look after children from a number of families. This helps to develop a child’s social skills from a young age.
  3. Affordability:  childminders can be the most affordable option for parents. Again this depends on a number of factors for example the number of children you have. The more children you have,  other options like a nanny or au pair might suit better.
  4. Home from home environment:  As childminders usually have smaller numbers of children than creches there can often offer a more intimate and homely environment for children.
  5.  Real-life learning:  children cared for by a childminder enjoy real-life experiences like cooking, shopping, gardening, mealtimes etc. These everyday activities can help develop a child’s maths skills, social skills, and language skills.


Questions to ask a childminder

Terms, rates, and conditions of childminding should be pre-agreed before any commencement of care takes place. It is important to define clearly what services the childminder will provide. It is best practice to agree to these terms in writing. By outlining and agreeing on exact duties between you and the childminder, and by supplying a written agreement signed by both parties, this will help enforce these conditions. Here is a sample childminder contract template Ireland


What qualifications are needed to become a childminder in Ireland?

There is no legal requirement for nannies or childminders to have formal qualifications. It is very much up to the individual family to determine if this is something that is important to them.


Do childminders have to be garda vetted?

By law, only Tusla registered childminders must have Garda vetting; this extends to their assistants/stand–ins and adults over 18 living in the home. It is best practice for all childminders to be garda vetted.

A vetting statement will show applicants if there are any convictions or prosecutions pending or completed recorded against them in the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere.

SureSitter is registered with An Garda Siochana to process Garda vetting on behalf of our carers. In addition, we also carry our ID verification checks. If a carer has verified their ID, it will be noted on their profile.

It currently takes between two and four weeks to be vetted by the Gardaí.


How do I find a childminder?

It’s really simple to find a childminder on SureSitter. Posting a childminding job is free and we guide through the process to ensure that you find the most qualified and suitable childminder for your needs. This includes specifying the type of care you need, whether it’s an after-school childminder to do school runs or a full-time childminder. Post a childminder job free today.

Want to know what the difference is between a nanny and a childminder? Check out our blog on the differences between a childminder and a nanny.