Early Learning & Care & School Aged Childcare Services

Children First Child Protection Revision Webinar

This webinar was developed to highlight the key elements of the face-to-face Always Children First Foundation training while it is on hold due to current public health advice. Its purpose is to serve as an interim revision resource for ELC practitioners, SAC practitioners and Childminders. 

Podcast: Child Safeguarding Statements

In this podcast Laura Dagger, Coordinator of the National Child Safeguarding Programme answers the question ‘What is a Safeguarding Statement & how can providers develop one’. Laura explains the guiding principles; she explains Risk Assessment with regards to a child’s wellbeing as well as Specified Procedures and how to carry them out safely.

Garda Vetting

Under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016, it is compulsory for employers to obtain vetting disclosures in relation to anyone who is carrying out relevant work with children or vulnerable adults.

ELC as relevant work: Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children in – (a) an establishment which provides preschool services within the meaning of Part VII of the Child Care Act 1991

Statutory obligations on employers in relation to Garda vetting requirements for persons working with children and vulnerable adults are set out in National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016

The Acts create offences and penalties for persons who fail to comply with its provisions.

The National Vetting Bureau of An Garda Síochána issues vetting disclosures to organisations employing people who work in a full-time, part-time, voluntary or student placement basis with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The National Vetting Bureau does not decide on the suitability of any person to work with children and vulnerable adults. Rather, in response to a written request for vetting, the National Vetting Bureau releases criminal history and other specified information on the person to be vetted to the prospective recruiting organisation.

Early Learning and Care services should have their own criteria in place to decide on the suitability of persons to work in their service.

Below is a list of organisations that support ELC and SAC services and practitioners to obtain Garda Vetting

Early Childhood Ireland (Members only)

Barnardos (services and practitioners that are not members of ECI)

St Nicholas Montessori Teacher’s Association (members of SNMTA and their staff)

Garda Vetting Webinar PDF

Meitheal Area Based Approach

Tusla has developed the Meitheal approach to help children where they may need the support of more than one service. Meitheal is a case co-ordination process for families with additional needs who require multi-agency intervention but who do not meet the threshold for referral to the Social Work Department under Children First. Practitioners in different agencies can use and lead on Meitheal so that they can communicate and work together more effectively to bring together a range of expertise, knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the child and family within their community.  Meitheal is an early intervention, multi-agency (when necessary) response tailored to the needs of an individual child or young person.

Meitheal: A guide for parents & carers
Meitheal: A guide for young people
Meitheal Request Form