Information for Parents

When your child starts in a care setting, be it full day care, sessional or part time care or with a childminder, it can be a very stressful time for parents. Your first priority as a parent is the safety and welfare of your child and you’ll be delighted to know that this is also a main priority for providers of early learning and care for children.

Early Learning and Care settings have a number of legal obligations under the Children First Act (2015) and these are:

  • Mandated Reporting
  • The requirement to have a Child Safeguarding Statement

Mandated Reporting

Under the Children First Act (2015), mandated persons have 2 legal obligations;

  1. To report the harm of children, above a defined threshold to Tusla
  2. To assist Tusla, if requested, in assessing a concern which has been the subject of a mandated report

Mandated Persons have a legal responsibility to report if a child is being harmed, has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed, to the point where the child’s health, development or welfare have been or are being seriously affected, or are likely to be seriously affected.

In early years settings you are a Mandated Person if you are:

  1. A person carrying on a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991.
  2. A child care staff member employed in a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991

Child Safeguarding Statement

A Child Safeguarding Statement is a written statement that specifies the service being provided and the principles and procedures to be observed in order to keep children safe from harm. It should include:

  • A Risk Assessment which assesses the risk of harm and the procedures in place to mitigate these risks
  • The name of the service and the activities provided to children
  • A list of all Mandated Persons in the organisation including the name and contact details of relevant persons in the organisation
  • An overview of the measures in place to ensure children are protected from harm

When starting your child in an Early Learning and Care setting, parents should receive information from the service outlining their policies and procedures and information on how to address any concerns you may have. For further information, please see the attached document

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence, also known as domestic abuse can happen in the form of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse.  Domestic abuse can happen against children, men and women and can happen in all kinds of relationships.

There are many resources available to those experiencing domestic abuse and some are listed below:

Parenting Supports

There are many times when parents may require support.  Being able to access supports in one place can make something that may initially seem daunting, a lot easier to figure put.  Tusla provide wrap around support for parents including the provision of parenting programmes and intervention at an early stage to prevent situations getting worse.  For more information see:

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

Reading Resources

Information Leaflet for Parents/Carers on Children First in Early Learning and Care Services
Information Leaflet for Parents/Carers on Children First in Early Learning and Care Services. IRISH
A parent’s guide to addressing concerns in an Early Years Service