In 2014, Tusla, The Child and Family Agency commissioned a Report on the Quality of Pre-school Services (Hanafin, 2014). The report indicated that most pre-school services are compliant most of the time, with three quarters of all regulatory requirements inspected as compliant with the Pre-School Regulations (2006).
However, the analysis of inspection reports clearly identified where improvements must be made. Significant levels of ‘non-compliance’ were identified in relation to a number of thematic areas within the existing regulations; Governance (Regulations 8, 9, 14, & 16), Welfare (Regulation 5) and Safety (Regulations 6, 27, 28 & 30).
All pre-school services in Ireland are required to strive for full compliance across all Pre-School Regulations, however, it is accepted that at present there are areas that require greater focus and attention. Resulting from this, the Child and Family Agency has introduced a revised model of Pre-School Inspection. On the 26th January 2015 a model of inspection focusing on the Governance, Welfare and Safety of Children was introduced for all services. On the 1st July 2015 an augmented Inspection, focusing on the Safety, Governance, Health, Welfare and Development of the Child was introduced for those services which have been inspected in the last 3 calendar years.
The inspection protocol and process is unchanged, however, pre-school services who have not received an inspection in the last 3 calendar years are inspected using an Inspection Tool focusing on Safety Governance and Welfare of the Child while services who have been inspected in the last 3 calendar years will receive an inspection focusing on the Safety, Governance, Health, Welfare and Development of the Child.
The revised Inspection Tools and Documentation can be downloaded below:
- Inspection Tool for services not inspected inthe last 3 calendar years
- Inspection Tool for services inspected withinthe last 3 calendar years
All pre-school services are encouraged to review this documentation and evaluate their performance within these thematic areas. Please note, the follow up (review) Inspection format remains in place as required and appropriate.