Schools and crèches will not close automatically if they have a suspected case of Covid-19.
Childcare providers will remain open unless they are told to shut after public health doctors conduct an evaluation, it was confirmed yesterday.
When schools reopen next month, they are likely to follow the same protocols - with infections treated on a case-by-case basis.
The first Covid-19 case in a crèche, in a north Dublin, was revealed by the Irish Independent.
It is understood to have involved a childcare worker who had recently been abroad in Spain.
The centre remains open after an assessment of risk by HSE public health doctors.
Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman said public health guidelines were successful in containing Covid-19 at the north Dublin crèche.
While the details are still being discussed ahead of schools' reopening at the end of August, it is understood that they will follow a similar approach.
They will not have to automatically shut if they have a diagnosed case of the virus - unless ordered to do so following assessment by public heath doctors.
Instead the person with suspected Covid-19 will be isolated and the level of contact with colleagues and children assessed.
However, experts point out that issues such the greater movement of pupils and teachers between classrooms in schools would have to be taken into account.
Children's Minister Mr O'Gorman said public health guidelines were successful in containing Covid-19 at the north Dublin crèche. It is understood that a number of children regarded as close contacts of the individual have been tested and will be required to restrict their movements for 14 days.
He said: "I do think what this single case has shown is that the public health guidance that is in place for all crèches actually works. The HSE and Tusla, as inspector of crèches, were notified immediately once this illness became known. All children in that particular pod - that is, the group in which the children in that crèche were being looked after together - all those children were sent home, and indeed all the staff who had contact with this staff member were sent home.
"But because the crèche was following the public health guidelines, only the children who are in that pod and only a certain number of staff had had contact with this individual or had contact with each other.
"It's important to say there have been no other diagnoses of Covid among those children, or the other staff. But any potential Covid would have been contained within that group.
"We want to ensure that when schools open, they can do so in the safest way possible," he told Newstalk.
Central to containing any spread of Covid-19 in childcare settings is the "pod" model, or structuring everyday activities within crèches so that groups of children stay together and deal with the same workers throughout the day, every day.
The Department of Children said that the model is recommended by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre as a mechanism for infection control in childcare settings. A spokesman said: "The play pod model is a safe and playful approach to restricting interactions between closed groups of children and adults as an alternative to social distancing, which is not possible with young children."
The spokesman also said: "The advice to services in relation to suspected cases… is that the staff member or child should be immediately isolated from others in the setting. Arrangements should be made for them to go home and parents should be advised to call their doctor.
"In confirmed cases public health officials will make contact with the service - and any close contacts of the individual - and advise as to what steps need to be taken."
He said: "It is not necessary for childcare providers to take any action in relation to closing the service, partially or in full, until the provider has been contacted by and discussed the case with local public health staff.
"Any decision to close the service would be a matter for HSE local public health, based on the circumstances relating to the particular case."
Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical adviser at the HSE, said yesterday he could not comment on individual cases but said local public health teams will carry out their own evaluation of a suspected case of Covid-19.
Issues to be taken into account would include how close the infected person was with others, and also for long.
He said research to date suggests that children under 10 years of age are less likely than older children to transmit the virus to others.
Parents should remember that if we learn to live with the virus and open up schools, no environment will be without some risk, he said. Individual responsibility and following basic rules to minimise the risk of the virus spreading would be key, he added.