Garda vetting for grandmothers providing childcare
Grandparents and other casual childminders face Garda vetting if they want to access a new subsidy.
The new Affordable Child Care scheme requires that childminders be background checked if they are to benefit by up to €1,000 a year.
But only about 130 of the estimated 20,000 people working as childminders have been formally vetted, which is needed in order to be registered by Tusla.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is now set to offer speedier background checks on any of the childminders currently not registered.
This would include relatives such as grandparents and in-laws, according to West Cork TD Jim Daly, who chairs the Government's Children and Youth Affairs committee.
Due to the sheer numbers involved, he said it could take "decades" to have them all registered.
"So what the Government is proposing to do is run in tandem a sort of certification process where the department will oversee," he said.
"Any parent who wishes to apply for the subsidy can send in details of their gran, of their sister-in-law, of their neighbour who is minding their children and the Government will do a background check - obviously Garda vetting - and a couple of references from local people and that will suffice."