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Tuesday, August 04, 2015
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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

Please note that a new tax year began on 6th April 2015 - Further information on what has changed (including personal allowances) can be found in NICMAs Getting Off to a Good Start Booklet, available for members free on charge in the members area.

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.


Below are the details and links to childminder live webinars:

Wednesday 05 August 2015 at 19.30 -Use this link to book onto this: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5178533008872837378

Tuesday 18 August 2015 at 19.30 - Use this link to book onto this: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6356157241220954626

User Guide for Childminders


This User Guide is based on the Childminding and Day Care for Children Under Age 12 Minimum Standards and has been specifically written for childminders.  It is not a replacement for the Minimum Standards but does cover each Standard, how it applies to you and the minimum you will need to provide for inspection. To download a copy of this document please click here.

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The Executive's draft Childcare Strategy

Click here to view the draft Strategy,  consultation questionnaire and associated documents.

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Date for your diary!

Saturday 17th October 2015 at Bannville House Hotel in Banbridge

NICMAs Annual Conference

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2015 Conference

The Books That I Love

‘The Books that I love…’  book reviews compiled by childminders

NEW! Click Here to read the second edition. NEW!

Click Here to read the first edition.

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