Childcare Settings

Community & Private Childcare

There are two types of childcare services community and private; the Community work within the Not-for-Profit sector while Private is for profit and are self employed. 

Childcare Services

Sessional Services

Sessional services usually refer to a preschool service offering a planned programme to preschool children for no more than 3.5 hours per day for between 38 to 50 weeks per year. A preschool child is a child aged under 6 years who does not attend a primary school.

Part Time Day Care

Part-time day care service means a pre-school service offering a structured day care service for pre-school children for a total of more than 3.5 hours and less than 5 hours per day, which may include a pre school service.

Full Day Care

A full day care service refers to structured day care for children from babies up to age 13/ 14 years, for more than 5 hours per day and may include a sessional preschool service, breakfast club, and or afterschool club. Some Full Day Care Services open from 7am and remain open until 7pm, depending on the needs of parents in a particular area.

School Age Childcare

This type of service caters for children who are of school going age. It may include care before school begins, or in the afternoons when school finishes or both. The service may also cater for children during school holidays. These services are at present not covered by the preschool regulations. They are however covered by other regulations such as health and safety.


A Childminding service” means a pre-school service which is offered by a person who single-highhandedly takes care of pre-school children, including the childminder’s own children, in the childminder’s home for a total of more than 2 hours per day. Exceptions do occur. This service refers to pre-school children looked after in the childminder’s home. This service is offered for the full working day or for different periods during the day. Childminders who mind three or more children are covered under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006 and Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) (Amendment) Regulations 2006.

If you are thinking of becoming a childminder, please go to the following page

Parent and Toddler groups

A Parent & Toddler Group is a group of parents/carers and their children that meet regularly in a suitable location, for example, a community centre, parish or sports hall. While these groups are great for giving the children an opportunity to play and socialize in a safe environment supervised by their parents, they are also very beneficial for the parents/carers who get to meet others in similar circumstances that live in their area. They provide a great support network where parents have an opportunity to share their experiences and advice.

For a list of Parent and Toddler Groups in Sligo email