There are many types of childcare – some distinguished simply by the opening hours or management structures, others by the curriculum of education they use. What type of service you decide to offer depends on your training and your staff’s training as well as the market in which you are operating.
- Community based vs. Private Childcare Services
- Legal Structures
- Registration of Business Name
- Type of Care and Operating Hours
- Curricular Differences
Community Based Childcare Service
A not for profit Organisation whose primary objective is to support the provision of childcare in the local community without concern for monetary profit. However, they may accept, hold and disperse money. They are typically funded by donations or grants from the private or public sector. There are many variations in terms of size and the way in which they are organised. Some are formally incorporated with written constitution and a board of directors (The Committee) while others are much smaller and more informal.
The distinguishing feature of Community based childcare services is that they form part of a core community infrastructure and are responding to an identified need in the local area.
Some community childcare services are part of a larger “umbrella” group and operate under their infrastructure.
Community childcare services are operated by either volunteers or paid positions.
Most community childcare services have a charitable status and so have a charity number (CHY No.). This is essential for tax relief purposes and funding applications. To be deemed “Charitable” by the Revenue Commissioners the Organisation must prove its purpose is one or more of the following:
- The relief of poverty
- Advancement of education
- Advancement of religion
- Other purpose of a charitable nature
The most common legal entity for these groups is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Limited Company).
Private Enterprise Childcare Services
A for profit organisation provided by an individual person or persons whose primary objective is to provide childcare in an area where there is an identified need.
Having decided on a type of service, you must decide at the outset what legal structure best suits your plans. Different obligations, risks and levels of liability are associated with each structure.
There are several formal structures in which you could provide childcare services:
Whether a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a co-operative, if you use a name for the business that is different from your own name or your legal company name, you should register it with the Company Registration Office. Such a registration simply enables the public to find out about the people behind a trading name, and confers no legal protection or propriety rights on that name. Full details of how to register your business are available on www.cro.ie or from Kildare Local Enterprise Office.
* It is necessary for all childcare services to register as a legal entity.
* In the case of community providers the usual choice of legal entity is Limited Company.