Monday, October 20, 2014
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New Minimum Standards for Childminding


In the first Programme for Government produced by the Executive of the NI Assembly, a commitment was made to put in place a framework to raise the quality of services provided to the community and tackle the issues of poor performance across Health and Social Care. As a fist step in fulfilling this commitment the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (DHSS&PS) issued a consultation paper entitled “Best Practice- Best Care” in April 2001.


Following this consultation the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 was introduced. Article 38 confers powers on the DHSS&PS to prepare and publish statements of minimum standards applicable to all services. The minimum mandatory standards for the Regulation of Childminding and Daycare Services by the Health and Social Care Trust builds upon the requirements of the Children(Northern Ireland ) Order 1995 and its associated Guidance and Regulations.

Draft Childminding Regulation and Inspection Standards were developed in 2004 however; they have not yet been implemented. These minimum standards are currently being reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose and, as appropriate, brought up to date before publication. It is not yet clear how long this process will take.

Please note contrary to what some childminders have been advised the new minimum standards will not be implemented from the 1st April 2010. NICMA will continue to issue regular bulletins in regard to progress made. If you have any queries or concerns relating to the introduction of minimum standards for childminding please contact either myself, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Bridget Nodder our Director email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact the NICMA office directly on 0871 200 2063 and ask to speak to either Jenny or Bridget.

Jennifer Adair, Assistant Director, NICMA.

Dated: 2.4.2010

Minimum Standards


The ‘Minimum Standards’ were launched in July 12 as a means of providing a consistent level of quality for all childminding and daycare services and to ensure a consistent regional approach to registration and inspection.

There are 2 documents relating to Minimum Standards:

  1. Childminding and DayCare for Children under age 12 – Minimum Standards – July 12
  2. Childminding and DayCare for Children under age 12 – Minimum Standards – IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE – July 13



The Business Side of Childminding

Got a lot of questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses?

This online tutorial from HMRC will build your confidence by guiding you through everything you need to know to get started. There are useful tips from others who have been where you are now and practical case studies to help you along the way.


New Research Launched

Childminding in Northern Ireland:  an exploration of practice, quality and the impact of vertical placements on children.

This exciting study is as a result of the first time any research has been carried out on childminding in Northern Ireland.

Addressing the quality of care, the benefits and difficulties of vertical grouping (i.e children of different ages being cared for together).

The study also provides a profile of childminders in terms of age, gender, qualifications held and access to training and support.

It's two overall aims are :

  • To ascertain the impacts on children of vertical grouping.
  • To explore issues of practice and quality within childminding in Northern Ireland.

To read the full report Click Here

Childminding Policies

All registered Childminders must have a range of Policies in place to ensure good practice.

NICMAs policies are available to download FREE OF CHARGE from the Members section of our website as part of NICMA membership OR purchase a full pack of 29 Policies, a template ‘Statement of Purpose’ and NEW Risk Assessment & Fire Log Booklet for non members costing £25 DEDUCTABLE from your first year’s Membership Fee.

Click here for information on which policies have been updated.

Click here for information on Employers Liability Insurance.

Click here for an order form. (pdf)

Login to Members Area


News Flash

Book Your Training Online!

We are now offering the facility to book onto NICMA courses via an online form.

As this is a pilot only Promoting Positive Behaviour in The Early Years is available.



Online Applications!

Is your membership due for renewal?

Are you interested in joining NICMA?

We are now offering online membership applications and accepting payment via paypal!

To Apply or find out more Visit the Joining NICMA area of the website.

Payments by PayPal

Minimum Standards Training

Training on Childminding and Day Care for Children Under Age 12 - The Minimum Standards and Childminding Inspection Process

NICMA & the Trust Early Years teams are currently delivering training sessions as above. You will receive a letter inviting you

to attend according to your inspection date.

It is essential that you attend on the date offered so that you can understand what the standards mean to you as a

childminder as well as understanding the inspection process.

Read on....

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