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FAQ

 
Q: WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS FOR CHILD DAY CARE FACILITIES?
 
The Standards for Child Day Care Facilities were established by the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity to ensure quality services for children from zero (0) to three (3) years. These standards take into consideration the day care and educational needs of children within this age group, and ensure that:
1.         Children are looked after by suitable and qualified staff;
2.         The physical environment is welcoming and the premises are suitable for the service provided;
3.         The facility is managed by a qualified person and that the service has a written manual of   policies and procedures, which is available to users;
4.         The good health and safety of children is promoted at all times;
5.         Activities and opportunities for play are organised so as to meet the full range of children’s developmental needs;
6.         Carers work in close collaboration with parents and encourage the involvement of parents to improve the quality of the service provided;
7.         The service has a clear code of behaviour management and that the children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour;
8.         Child day care providers have a duty to protect and care for each child during their period of attendance at the Centre;
9.         The service provision promotes the benefits of a healthy diet and encourage parents to provide healthy nutritious snacks for their children;
10.      Each child is valued as an individual and helped to develop his/her full potential through inclusion and participation.
 
Q: IS THERE ANY LEGISLATION THAT COVERS THE OPERATIONS AND USE OF CHILD DAY CARE SERVICES?
 
The current Education Act is being reviewed to increasingly be covering the Child Day Care Services
 
Q: WHAT STANDARDS ARE CURRENTLY EXPECTED FROM CHILD DAY CARE SERVICES
Child Day Care Services are expected to adhere to the National Standards for Child Day Care Facilities (2006). DQSE will be collaborating with various stake holders so that the educational component is enhanced while other standards are developed for the benefit of all children. The National Standards for Child Dary Care Facilities (2006) may be accessed by clicking here.
 
Q: WHAT IS PROVISIONAL REGISTRATION?
 
Provisional registration is an interim measure that enables Child Day Care Facilities to have their service provision assessed in relation to the established standards on a voluntary basis. Assessors from the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE) carry out an assessment visit, and compile a report indicating areas for improvement. Providers collaborate with DQSE to plan out an action to respond to the improvement identified through the assessment visits.  Following this review exercise, the DQSE will decide to issue a certificate of Provisional Registration or otherwise. All facilities which have been granted this certificate are obliged to display it in a prominent place within the facility. Failure to comply with the conditions of the action plan will result in the withdrawal of the certificate of Provisional Registration.
 
Q: WHICH CHILD CARE FACILITIES ARE PROVISIONALLY REGISTERED?
Please click here to find the entire list of Provisionally Registered Child Day Care Facilities.
Q: ARE THERE ANY INCENTIVES FOR PARENTS WHO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO PROVISIONALLY REGISTERED CHILD DAY CARE FACILITIES?
First and foremost, parents who choose Provisionally Registered Child Day Care Facilities for their children have an assurance that the facility is striving to operate according to a set of established standards in the best interest of their children.
In addition, these parents would also be eligible for a tax rebate. Further information can be obtained from the Commissioner of Revenue or by clicking here​.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CENTRE-BASED FACILITY AND A HOME-BASED FACILITY?
Centre-Based Facilities are premises that are used and equipped exclusively for the provision of day care services to children. On the other hand, home-based facilities form part of the service provider’s own residence and cater for a maximum of six children, including, where applicable, the provider’s own children.
Q: WHAT ARE THE OPENING HOURS OF CHILD DAY CARE FACILITIES?

Every facility is free to establish its own operating hours. You may have to contact a number of providers to find a service which suits your particular needs.
Please click here to find the entire list of Provisionally Registered Child Day Care Facilities.
Q: HOW CAN I CHOOSE A CHILD DAY CARE FACILITY WHICH MEETS THE NEEDS OF MY CHILD AND FAMILY?
The Standards for Child Day Care Facilities provide a basic guide as to what to look for in Child Day Care Facilities. A copy of the standards booklet can be obtained by clicking here.
 
The following are some basic steps that will help you to make an appropriate choice:
  • Access the list of Provisionally Registered Facilities and make initial enquiries to ensure that they meet your particular needs;
  • Make arrangements to visit the facilities of your choice, accompanied by your child and spend at least one hour in each facility;
  • Try to visit each facility on more than one occasion to see what is happening at different times of the day;
  • It is advisable that you take your spouse/partner or a friend to help you decide;
  • Try to discuss the service provision with parents who are using or have used the service.
 
When visiting the facility it is also suggested that you ask the following questions and observe the activities taking place and the interaction between carers and children:
  • Enquire about staff training; qualifications and experience;
  • Check whether the facility has been granted Provisional Registration by the Department for Social Welfare Standards/Quality Assurance Department. A Certificate of Provisional Registration should be prominently displayed within the facility;
  • Does your provider welcome your presence as a prospective service user and encourage your interest and questions. Does the provider respond openly and sincerely to any concerns you may have;
  • Observe the interactions between the carers and the children, whether they are friendly, warm, affectionate and respectful to all children;
  • Observe and ask about the staff (carer)-to-child ratio;
  • Enquire about their manual of policies and procedures and whether it is available for viewing;
  • Enquire about, and request a copy of, their service description and their daily programme of activities for children;
  • Observe the surroundings to see whether the children’s arts and crafts are displayed, and if such displays look fresh signifying that they are changed frequently in line with the children’s activities;
  • Does the environment appear to you to be stimulating and safe for the child?
  • Check whether there is enough natural light;
  • Is there adequate space for the children to carry out different activities?
  • Check whether there is ample equipment and play material to allow the children to participate fully in the activities without having to wait to use the equipment or toys;
  • View the outdoor play area to ensure that it is adequately equipped with play materials and that it is safe and secure;
  • Discuss, and when possible, observe staff interaction with children, especially their manner of approach when children are manifesting difficult behaviour, such as having a tantrum, smacking, hitting or throwing objects that could endanger other children;
  • Ask about any policies regarding reports on children’s progress. Enquire about the frequency of such reports and whether the information is conveyed on formal and informal basis;
  • Check whether the toilet facilities are maintained in a good standard of hygiene, that potties are safely and hygienically stored and that the toilets and basins are child-sized, to encourage independence;
  • Enquire about policies and practices with regard to potty training and nappy changing;
  • Enquire about cleaning regimes;
  • Enquire about procedures and record keeping in cases of emergency or accident;
  • Enquire about safety and evacuation procedures and whether adequate arrangements are in place;
  • Check that staff is qualified in First Aid;
  • Enquire about the operational hours and fees of the facility to ensure that it meets your and your child’s particular needs.
Q: I’M CONCERNED ABOUT MY CHILD BEING LEFT WITH SOMEONE IRRESPONSIBLE OR WITH A PERSON WHO HAS A CRIMINAL RECORD. HOW CAN THE SERVICE PROVIDER REASSURE ME THAT THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN?
The Ministry for Education and Employment requires that all persons employed within Child Day Care Facilities are of good conduct and all employees have to supply a detailed police conduct to support this requirement. Furthermore, in compliance with the Standards, the employees have to provide two referees to attest to their good character and moral conduct. In a home-based facility, service providers are obliged to comply with the same conditions and are also expected to furnish the Department with a detailed police conduct of all the persons who are actually living in the residence.
Q: I AM WORRIED THAT MY CHILD WOULD GET SICK FROM ILLNESSES THAT OTHER CHILDREN MIGHT HAVE WHILE ATTENDING THE DAY CARE FACILITY.
All facility should follow a clear Sick Child Policy. Prior to registering your child with a facility, it is important that you inquire whether such a policy is in place. If you are still concerned that adequate precautions are not being taken, discuss this with the service provider. If still unconvinced, it is important to shop around to find the most suitable facility which follows a satisfactory Sick Child Policy.
Q: HOW COULD I KNOW THAT MY CHILD IS HAPPY IN THE FACILITY AND PARTICIPATING IN THE DAY ACTIVITIES?
The Standards stipulate that the service provider is to work closely with parents. Parents are to be encouraged to involve themselves in their children’s progress at the facility. The presence of parents within the facility should also be encouraged and supported. If these policies are followed, parents would have the opportunity to see for themselves whether their children are happy and participating in the daily activities.
Q: SHOULD I BE CONCERNED THAT A CHILD DAY CARE FACILITY EMPLOYS YOUNG INEXPERIENCED STAFF?
 
In accordance with the Standards, all staff, irrespective of age, has to have basic qualification in child care. The mix and match of energy and maturity in staff members provides for supervision and promotes a good quality service for children.
Q: SHOULD I BE CONCERNED IF MY CHILD DOES NOT BRING ANY WORK TO CONTINUE FROM HOME?
Child Day Care services are meant to complement the home environment and to help the child develop independence and social skills through play. Play within the age group 0 to 3 is the basic and most essential aspect of learning. To assign homework to children of this age is counterproductive, places them under unnecessary stress and makes the more formal learning approach at a later stage unattractive.
 

 

Q: I'M WORRIED THAT PHOTOS OF MY CHILD ARE TAKEN WHILE ATTENDING A CHILD DAY CARE CENTRE.
To take photos of the children attending their Child Day Care Facility, the Service Providers should first acquire a written consent from the parents/guardians. Service providers may take photographs of the children when they are involved in activities so that parents can follow what their children are doing at the centre. However, in such cases, the service provider still needs a written permission and parents have every right to refuse.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE SEEN BAD PRACTICE IN A CHILDCARE CENTRE OR IF I HAVE A COMPLAINT ABOUT A PARTICULAR FACILITY?
Please click here for procedure to file a complaint.

Q: WHAT PROCEDURE SHOULD I FOLLOW TO OPEN A CHILD DAY CARE FACILITY?

To open a Child Day Care Facility, please contact the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education within the Ministry for Education and Employment on +356  25982311 or email  customercare.dqse@gov.mt
The Department will provide guidance and assistance regarding the provision of Child Day Care services.
 
Q:  How Should a Child Day Care Facility handle a situation where a child is believed to be suffering from an infectious disease?
 
Should a Child Day Care Facility suspect or be notified that one of the children under its care is/has been suffering from an infectious illness, the Manager of that facility shall report the case to the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit.  The Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit will provide further guidance on precautionary measures to be taken by the Child Day Care Facility to prevent the spread of infection. The Infectious Disease and Control Unit can be contacted on the following contact numbers and email address:
 
Office Hours (+356)23266109/ 122/ 119/ 111/ 117/ 145/ 146
Out of Office Hours (+356)21332235/ 21324086