Check It Out: A Parent's Guide to the Pre-School Regulations

Dowd, M. (2000). Check It Out: A Parent's Guide to the Pre-School Regulations.
A new Child Care Act was passed in 1991. This Act is very important because it updates the laws relating to the care and protection of children. Part 7 deals especially with services for pre-school children, and it allows for the first time, regulations to be introduced for their supervision. These regulations came into effect in December 1996 and have been widely welcomed by agencies concerned with the needs and rights of children. All pre-school services (except certain types of childminding) are required by law to abide by the regulations, and must be notified to their local health board. Minimum standards are set out regarding: Premises and Facilities; Health and Safety; Toys and Equipment; Space per child; Staffing levels; Numbers of children catered for; Records. The health boards have responsibility for enforcing the regulations. Each health board has appointed pre-school officers to inspect the services in the area and to provide advice and support to the providers of those services. Inspections involve assessing the suitability of facilities and identifying areas which require change or improvement. Services are monitored on a continual basis.