Planning Portal

DCAN 13: Crèches, Day Nurseries and Pre-School Play Groups

1. In recent years the Department has received an increasing number of planning applications for the provision of crèches, day nurseries and pre-school playgroups and this is a trend which would appeal likely to continue. This note sets out the planning criteria which the Department will take into consideration when determining such proposals.
2. The Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 places a responsibility on Health and Social Services Boards to register all arrangements within their area where children are cared for outside of their own home by a person to whom they are not related for more than 2 hours a day or more than 2 days a week on a regular basis, whether this is in a private dwelling or in other premises. In relation to registration the Board will want to be satisfied that the standard of facilities provided are satisfactory and that the children are being given proper care.
3. Persons who wish to use their own homes for child minding will not normally require planning permission for such a use where the number of children is restricted to 3 or less. Other factor such as hours of operation, size of premises, potential traffic hazards, etc, may however have important implications in particular situations and in such cases a planning application may be necessary. Where the number of children exceeds 3 planning permission may be required depending on local land use circumstances. In either case therefore it is advisable to write to the relevant Divisional Planning Office seeking a determination as to whether the submission of a planning application is considered necessary.
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