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Better Start National Early Years Quality Development, hosted by Pobal, is committed to protecting and respecting your rights under data protection law.  We respect your trust in us.

In this notice, we explain how we collect personal information about you, how we use it and how you can interact with us about it.

This document is being provided to you in line with our obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The GDPR, together with applicable Irish data protection law, places enhanced accountability and transparency obligations on organisations when using your information.  The GDPR also gives you greater control over your personal information, including a right to access, amend or erasure your personal information.

Please take time to read this notice carefully.  If you have any questions about how we use your information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at

This summary explains the most important aspects of how we use you and your child’s information and what rights you have in relation to this personal information.

Updates to this Notice

You can always find an up-to-date version of this notice when you log onto our website. This notice was last updated in March 2021

1. Who we are

Better Start National Early Years Quality Development is a national initiative established by the Department of Children Equality, Disability Integration and Youth and is hosted by Pobal. Its aim is to promote and enhance the quality of Early Learning and Care (ELC) for children under six years of age in Ireland. Better Start offers three operational programmes:

  1. The Quality Development Service;
  2. The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM); and
  3. The Early Years Learning and Development Unit.

Information we collect about you

For the administration and delivery of the state-funded Better Start programmes, we will collect some personal information directly from you (such as data to identify you, your contact information and information about your child for the purposes of accessing services), and information from other third parties (such as, for example, Pobal, the Office of Revenue Commissioners, the Health Services Executive (HSE)).

Further personal information may be collected depending on the contract, service or programme you are involved with, such as:

Quality Development Service Name, Setting details; Role/Title; contact details (email and phone)
Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) Setting contact information

Parent names, contact information

Child(ren) names, PPSN, gender, date of birth, health and medical information

Learning and Development Unit Service and individual staff participating in training names, contact details, education details and attendance at training events
  • Your name and contact details
  • PPSN numbers
  • Gender, date of birth / age band
  • Demographic information such as geographic location
  • Personal details of your child(ren) including PPSN; gender; date of birth;
  • Medical and health information
  • Information about you provided by others e.g. Revenue and HSE
  • Login and password credentials
  • Photographic or video images (e.g. for training, mentoring or publications)

2. How we use your information

Better Start uses information about you to:

  • Carry out our obligations arising from the Quality Development Service agreement, AIM Education and Mentoring Agreement, Applications for AIM supports, child safeguarding entered by your childcare service
  • Notify you of any changes relevant to your programme services
  • Send you communications which are relevant to your programme services
  • Collect and analyse programme data and demographic information to enhance service delivery and support government policy
  • Seek your views or comments on the supports we provide
  • Create summary statistics, which allow us to assess the number of visitors to our site, identify what pages are accessed most frequently and generally help us to make our site more user friendly

3. Lawful bases for processing your data

In order for the use of personal data to be lawful it should be processed on the basis of either the consent of an individual concerned or another legal basis, set out in the General Data Protection Regulation or in the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) is the data controller for the Better Start programmes.  For further information please see the DCEDIY privacy notice.

Better Start / Pobal processes personal data on behalf of the DCEDIY and will ensure that your data is processed in keeping with the principles of data protection.

As a data processor, Better Start / Pobal processes personal data under the following legal bases:

  • Consent
  • Performance of a contract
  • Performance of a task carried out in the public interest

4. How long we retain your information

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity,  and as required by the DCEDIY, subject to legislation and regulatory rules we must follow.

5. Better Start / Pobal

We may pass your information onto government departments such as the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Department of Education/NCSE and the Department of Health/HSE.

We may on occasion pass your information to third party service providers, agents, subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purpose of completing tasks and providing services to you. For example, trainers and training event venues, professional health service providers etc).  We will only disclose the personal information necessary to the task at hand and where possible will have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure.

In any case, we guarantee that we will not sell or rent your personal information to third-parties and neither we will share them for marketing purposes.

6. How we keep your information safe

Better Start/Pobal takes our security responsibilities seriously, employing the most appropriate organisational, physical and technical measures to safeguard your personal data, and regularly review these measures.  All our webpages are secure using the latest Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security standards.  When you are on a secure page, a lock icon will appear within the address bar.

Non-sensitive details (your email address etc.) are transmitted normally over the Internet, and this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your information, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. Where we have given (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our websites, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.

Like many organisations, we use technology on our websites to collect information that helps us enhance your experience and our services. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. The cookies we use allow our websites to work, or work more efficiently, as well as help us understand what information is most useful to our visitors.

8. What are your rights?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has introduced new rights to individuals in relation to their personal data.  Guidance on the rights of individuals is available on the Data Protection Commission website and can be accessed via

To request a copy of your personal data or to activate any of your data protection rights, contact the DCEDIY DPO at:

By e-mail:

By post: Data Protection Unit, The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Block 1, Miesian Plaza, 50-58 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2. D02 XWI4

9. How to Make a Complaint

If you have a complaint about the use of your personal information, please let us know to give us the opportunity to put things right as quickly as possible.

You can make a complaint by emailing us at:

Please be assured that all complaints received will be fully investigated. We ask that you supply as much information as possible to help our staff resolve your complaint quickly.

You also have the right to complain directly to the Data Protection Commission (DPC). The DPC contact details are:

  • Telephone: +353 57 8684800
  • Lo Call Number: 1890 252 868 4757
  • Email:
  • Webform:
  • Postal address:  Data Protection Commission, 21 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28

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