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A Sessional Pre-school Service is a service offering a planned programme to children for no more than 3.5 hours per session.

A sessional service can cater for children aged 0 - 6 years, but typically sessional services are aimed at children aged over 2.5 years and are preschools, playgroups, Montessori schools and naoínraí (Irish language preschools).

There are over 30 regulations that providers must comply with when operating a sessional service from food & drink and facilities for rest and play to fire safety, first aid supervision. These are set out in the regulations and elaborated upon in Tusla’s Regulatory and Quality Framework (QRF).

All sessional services must, at a minimum, have the following policies in place:

  • Statement of Purpose and Function
  • Complaints
  • Administration of Medication
  • Infection Control
  • Managing Behaviour [Supporting Positive Behaviour]
  • Safe Sleep
  • Fire Safety
  • Inclusion
  • Outings [where children attending the service are brought on outings]
  • Accidents and Incidents
  • Authorisation to collect Children
  • Healthy Eating
  • Outdoor Play [where such play is provided to children attending the service]
  • Staff Absences
  • Internet, Photographic and Recording Devices Use
  • Recruitment
  • Risk Management
  • Settling-in
  • Staff Training
  • Supervision

We will assist you in developing your policies and procedures.


I did a training course facilitated by Canavan and Byrne before setting up my own daycare service. I found this course invaluable to me.There were effectively three sources of learning, the course content, the tutors' wealth of knowledge and the other participant's wide and varied experiences. The follow-up and support between classes was excellent. The content was thorough. It was delivered with great skill and enthusiasm and know-how. I highly recommend it to anyone setting up. I have just set up my second centre and Canavan and Byrne have continued to provide support.

Fionnuala O'Malley, Happy Steps, Kilcock