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Setting Up A School Age Service

In relation to setting up a School Aged Childcare service, see below the following information which may be of use to you -

The initial step you need to take is to establish a need for your proposed service, ensuring there is a need going forward is very important.  I have attached a template questionnaire that you can use - amend it as suits for your proposed service.

It may be useful to check through currently childcare services including SAC’s in the area already, you can search by area by filtering same and clicking on filter button on our website, have provided link to the ‘find Childcare’ section here for convenience. 

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 or SAC service.  We have a list of P&T groups in Mayo, known to us on our website here also.

If you can establish a viable need for the service, you should then develop your business plan.  I am attaching a document here to assist you with this, a three year cashflow template is available on request to Mayo County Childcare Committee office also.   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 access their website here.   or you can phone: 094 906 4299 / Email:

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) is now  implemented nationally since November 2019.    More information on NCS can be found on NCS website here where there is a parents section and a providers section.  NCS is available to parents / guardians of children up to 15 years of age.

Early Years’ Service set up protocol can be accessed 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: if you require more details. List of Planning Clinics in Mayo are available here  (no appointment necessary).

All potential school aged childcare new providers must contact the Túsla School Aged Childcare registration office by sending an email to

For further information on Túsla and the registration process, FAQ’s etc. you can log onto the Tusla website here 

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 and it is advisable for those running SAC to have same.

For further information on Qualifications such as having your qualification assessed log onto DECDIY website here

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

In relation to opening a service during these challenging times, see the First 5 website which gives guidance to all EY Providers in relation to running a childcare service in line with Covid Guidelines, access First5 website here

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