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ChildcareStart Your Own Service

THINKING ABOUT SETTING UP A CENTRE BASED CHILDCARE SERVICE??

Here are some quick questions to ask yourself.

1. What type of service do you want to provide?

Creche or Nursery Are the terms given to a full day care service that provides care for children approximately aged 3months to 6 years, if they have a facility for school aged children the service can cater for children up to 14 yrs.
Sessional, Playschool, Playgroup, Pre-School Are the terms given to childcare services that provide planned activities for up to 3.5 hours a day for children approximately aged 2 to 5 years. Montessori, Naionrai and Highscope are predominantly sessional services that provide education using their own particular approach. Montessori can be provided from birth right through primary and second level.
Part-time Day Care Service Are the terms given to a pre-school service offering a structures day care service for pre-school children for a total of more than 3.5 hours and less than 5 hours per day?
School Age Childcare After schools Are the terms used to describe services that provide childcare to children of school going age 4/5 to 14 years approximately? Homework club's main focus is on the completion of homework.
Childminder Childminders look after children in their own home. The service is offered all year around, and can take all ages. Only if you are looking after more than 3 children are you covered by the provision of the pre-school services regulations.

2. How do I know this will be a profitable business?

Carry out a needs analysis on the area.
Do some market research.
Draft a quick business plan based on estimated income and expenditure.

3. Where is that service going to be viable?

Location Location Location

4. What kind of site/premises should I be looking for

Land Premises
Will you be able to get planning permission on the site? Ensure the building is in compliance with pre-school regulations 2006 and has full planning permission for the type of service you are delivering, for example if you provide full day care your service must have planning permission for full day care.
Is the site building ready, is the infrastructure in place or how much work will need to be done ( gives you an idea of time) If applicable apply to Planning Office for change of use.
Is there enough space for outdoor play? Cost of premises.
Cost of land and building

Situation of premises, if it is an existing premises, are you likely to get planning permission?

Here are some things to consider

  • Where is the house/premises situated?
  • Are you near a busy road?
  • Is there room for parking?
  • Is it and area where people are likely to have objections?

5. Planning guidelines state there must be one parking space for every 4 children.

6. Do you know the pre-school services regulations?

Sessional Full Day Care
Adult Child ratios

0-1 year - 1 adult to 3 children Max group size 9
1-2.5 years - 1 adult to 5 children Max group size 10
2.5-6 years - 1 adult to 10 children Max group size 20

0-1 year - 1 adult to 3 children Max group size 9
1-2 years - 1 adult to 5 children Max group size 10
2-3 years - 1 adult to 6 children Max group size 12
3-6 years - 1 adult to 8 children Max group size 24

Part time Day Care service

0-1 year - 1 adult to 3 children Max group size 9
1-2 years - 1 adult to five children Max group size 10
2-3 years - 1 adult to six children Max group size 12
3-6 years - 1 adult to 8 children Max group size 24

Adequate Space requirements (floor area per child)

0-6 years - 2 sq metres

0-1 year - 3.5 sq metres
1-2 years - 2.8 sq.metres
2-3 years - 2.35 sq.metres
3-6 years - 2.3 sq metres

Part time Day Care service

0-1 year - 3.5 sq.metres
1-2 years - 2.8 sq.metres
2-3 years - 2.34sq.metres
3-6 years - 2.3 sq.metres

Sanitary Accommodation
For every service you need 1 water closet and 1 wash hand basin for every 10 children, and 1 water closet and 1 wash hand basin for 8 adults.
Part V of the regulations deal with the premises
Article 18 Premises and Facilities
Article 20 Ventilation
Article 22 Sanitary Accommodation
Article 26 Food
Article 27 Safety Measures
Article 28 Facilities for rest and play

If you wish to learn more please contact Meath County Childcare Committee for a starter pack and we will post one out to you or download the new Starter Pack here (File Size: 468KB).

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