Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Minimum Standards for Childminding and Daycare

Minimum Standards for Childminding and Daycare are currently being drafted to make sure that children receive good quality care and that their parents or guardians know what they can expect. They are also being developed to ensure consistency in registrations and inspections.  Before now each HSC Trust has been free to apply its own interpretation of the Children (NI) Order and there have been some differences in the way settings have been registered and inspected in the Trust areas. These standards will ensure a regional approach and mean that all children and providers are all measured against the same benchmark.


In the current draft document there are 17 minimum standards which are grouped under 4 headings:

1.    Quality of Care

·         Care learning and Play

·         Health

·         Safety

·         Food and Drink

·         Promoting Positive Behaviour

·         Working in partnership with parents

·          Child protection

·         Equality

·         Additional needs

2. Quality of Staffing Management and Leadership

·         Management and monitoring arrangements

·         Organisation of the setting

·         Suitable Person

3. Quality of the Physical Environment

·         Physical environment

·         Equipment

4. Quality of Monitoring and Evaluation

·         Documentation

·         Complaints

A fifth section outlines the policies and procedures required in settings and also includes some examples as what should be included as minimum in some of the policies you are required to have for your setting.

NICMA and other voluntary sector Organisations, including Early Years and PlayBoard, have had the opportunity to comment on the draft minimum standards over the period November 2010 – 7 January 2011.

It is envisaged that the minimum standards will be subject to public consultation in the near future with a view to publication by the end of March 2011. The date for full implementation has yet to be agreed. Two easy access versions of the standards are also being developed for parents and children. Regular bulletins in regard to progress will be posted on the NICMA website. If you require any further information Bridget Nodder on 0871 200 2063.

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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