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Setting Up A New Pre-School

The initial step you need to take is to establish a need for your proposed preschool.  I have attached a template questionnaire that you can use - amend it as suits for your proposed service.  

Parent and Toddler groups along with National Schools are a good resource when doing a needs analysis to access parents who may need a preschool service.  We have a list of P&T groups available on our website at this link. Also note you can view the existing preschools in the area at the same link.

If you can establish a viable need for the service, you should then develop your business plan, see template business plan here.  A three year cashflow template is also available on request to Mayo County Childcare Committee office.  I would encourage you to link in with the Local Enterprise Office; they provide various support in terms of training e.g. in starting your own business, and financial, marketing, social media for business etc. You can visit their website directly here or contact by Phone: 094 906 4299 or 

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) is the funding programme available to eligible parents / guardians since November 2019.  More information on NCS can be found their website where there is a parents section and a providers section. You can log into NCS website here.

You can view the Early Years’ Service set up protocol here. 

You could also link in with the local Public Health Nurse/s as they are a good source of information on new births in the last number of years. Please find attached contact details of health centers in Mayo and also a link to their details here

In terms of planning permission. Mayo County Council hold clinics where people with planning queries can call in for advice.  These are held each Wednesday, from 9:30 to 12noon. You can phone Mayo County Council on 094 9064000 or email at if you require more details. List of Planning Clinics in Mayo are available here (no appointment necessary). 

Túsla is the Child and Family Agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children It is a legal requirement for all early year’s services proposing to operate from the 30th June 2016 to make application to Túsla for registration at least 3 months before it is intended to commence operation.  All potential early years new providers must contact the Túsla registration office at or 061 461700. 

For further information on Túsla and the registration process, FAQ’s etc. you can log onto the following –  

In relation to qualification requirements -  

All staff working with children are required to hold a minimum qualification of Early Childhood Care and Education (FETAC/QQI) Level 5 (5M2009) or equivalent.  

All preschool Leaders working within the ECCE Programme are required to hold Early Childhood Care and Education (FETAC/QQI) Level 6 (6M2007) qualification.  

If you feel you have an equivalent qualification to a level 5 or 6 the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) decides on eligibility of qualifications. A full list of early years qualifications recognised for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the regulations and the DCYA childcare programmes can be found on the DCEDIY website here

The Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning & Care Settings can be accessed here 

For further resources for Childcare Practitioners including Covid Guidelines please log into First5 website

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