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FAQ's

Q: WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES?

The National Standards for Early Childhood Education and Care Services were launched by the DQSE in October 2021 to regulate the running of Childcare Centres. The Standards regulate both the process and the structure quality of the service. These are further complimented by the Registration Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services which establishes the regulations and criteria that the Legally Responsible Person (LRP) must comply with, prior to opening an Early Childhood Education and Care centre and maintain during operation. These established criteria specifically relate to the design and layout of the premises, as well as the facilities and the documentation required to operate.


Q: IS THERE ANY LEGISLATION THAT COVERS THE OPERATIONS AND USE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES (0-3 YEARS)?

The Education Act (Cap 605) covers the operation and use of Early Childhood Education and Care centre.

 

Q: WHAT PROCEDURE SHOULD I FOLLOW TO OPEN AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE?

You may access information regarding opening a new Early Childhood Education and Care centres by clicking here​. Should you require further information, please contact the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education within the Ministry for Education and Employment on +356 25981400 or email: customercare.dqse@gov.mt

The Department will provide guidance and assistance regarding the provision of Early Childhood Education and Care services.

 

 Q: HOW CAN I OBTAIN A LICENCE TO RUN AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE?

The Education Act establishes that it is unlawful to establish and run any childcare centre without a valid licence.  The application for Licencing of a New Early Childhood Education and Care centre can be filled in online and submitted together with the required supporting documentation​.  Once all documents are evaluated by the DQSE and are found to be according to requirements a site visit is conducted. On completion of the visit, officers inform the LRP whether all conditions have been satisfactorily addressed or whether any further action is required.  Once all conditions have been addressed satisfactorily, a recommendation is made to issue a temporary Licence which is valid for 6 months.  A review visit is held before the expiry of the temporary licence during which officers conduct a full assessment of the centre. Based on the outcomes of the review visit the licence may be issued or further temporary licence may be issued valid for 1 year if not all standards have been addressed satisfactorily.

 

Q: WHICH EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRES ARE LICENCED?

Please click here​ to find the entire list of Licenced Early Childhood Education and Care centres.

 

Q: HOW CAN A POTENTIAL SERVICE PROVIDER  APPLY FOR CLEARANCE OF PROTECTION OF MINERS FROM THE LAW COURTS?

One can download the template to request the Law Courts for clearance in terms of the Protection of Minors (Registration) Act.​​​​​​


Q: WHAT ARE THE OPENING HOURS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRES?

Every centre 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 Licenced Early Childhood Education and Care centres.


Q: HOW CAN I CHOOSE AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRES WHICH MEETS THE NEEDS OF MY CHILD AND FAMILY?

An Information Booklet for Parents and Guardians​ looking for an Early Childhood Education and Care centre may be accessed by clicking hereThis booklet is a practical tool for any parent/guardian who wants to be informed prior to deciding on which centre to send their child to. It gives readers a clear idea of what to expect from a Childcare Centre and addresses frequently asked questions that any parent/guardian may ask.


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 requires that all persons employed within Early Childhood Education and Care centres are of good conduct and all employees have to supply 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. Furthermore, each centre is to have all its employees cleared according to the Protection of Minors (Registration) Act on a yearly basis. The DQSE checks this documentation for all centres on a yearly basis. 


Q: I AM WORRIED THAT MY CHILD WOULD GET SICK FROM ILLNESSES THAT OTHER CHILDREN MIGHT HAVE WHILE ATTENDING THE CENTRE.

All centres should follow a clear Sick Child Policy. Prior to registering your child with a centre, 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 centre which follows a satisfactory Sick Child Policy.


Q: HOW COULD I KNOW THAT MY CHILD IS HAPPY IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE AND PARTICIPATING IN THE DAILY 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 centre. 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 AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE EMPLOYS YOUNG INEXPERIENCED STAFF?

In accordance with the Standards, all staff, irrespective of age, must possess a qualification in childcare. The mix and match of energy and maturity in staff members provides for supervision and promotes good quality service for the children.

 

Q: SHOULD I BE CONCERNED IF MY CHILD DOES NOT BRING ANY WORK TO CONTINUE FROM HOME?

Early Childhood Education and 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 AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE.

To take photos of the children attending their centre, the Service Providers should first acquire 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 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 AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE?

You may access information regarding opening a new Early Childhood Education and Care centres by clicking here. Should you require further information, please contact the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education within the Ministry for Education and Employment on +356 25981400 or email: customercare.dqse@gov.mt

The Department will provide guidance and assistance regarding the provision of Early Childhood Education and Care services.

 

Q:  HOW SHOULD AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE CENTRE HANDLE A SITUATION WHERE A CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE SUFFERING FROM AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE?  

Should a centre 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

Email address disease.surveillance@gov.mt​