Day Care facilities provide an alternative home environment for children from six weeks to school age and some include care for children after school hours.
Opening hours can be from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm. Parents have to pay for their child's place, however through the Government's Pre-school Education Expansion Programme, a number of free part-time places are available for children aged 3-4 years. Some families may be able to access Family Tax Credit which provides support towards day care fees. Contact Inland Revenue for further details.
All full Day Care facilities must be registered with their local Health and Social Services Trust who will carry out an annual inspection to check that the registration requirements are maintained. These reports should be available for parents to read. Staff are required to have both health and police checks carried out by Social Services and they are registered in line with the requirements of the Children (NI) Order 1995.
Managers must have a relevant qualification, which is recognised by their local Social Services Trust. 50% of Day Care staff must be qualified.