Minimum Childcare Standards

"The Minimum Standards for Day Care and Childminding for Children under Age 12’’ have been developed to ensure a regional approach to inspections and registration in services so 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.

The standards set out are the minimum level of service that has to be provided in order to be registered with a HSC Trust and meet the inspection standards. There is no law underpinning some of the standards, however the Department has the legal right to set standards for these services in order for a provider to be registered with their HSC Trust. Many settings provide services to a level above this minimum, and seek to continually improve the quality of their services for children, parents and staff. The point of these standards is not to bring down the quality in these settings, but to begin the process of raising the quality of registered child care provision everywhere.


This guidance, provided by the Health and Social Care Board and endorsed by the DHSSPS, aims to provide the additional framework needed to ensure the standards are understood and implemented in the same way across services.

If your nursery or playgroup receives funding from the Department of Education through the Pre-school Education Programme or Sure Start, the nutritional standards for schools should be applied.


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