The Department of Education and Skills has a key role in supporting quality within the Early Years Education sector and works closely with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (D/CYA). Working with agencies funded by the D/CYA, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) produced an Aistear-in-Action toolkit which is a resource for use in early years settings showing how the Aistear themes of Wellbeing, Identity and Belonging, Exploring and Thinking and Communication translate into practice.
Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education
The Department of Education and Skills’ policy in relation to early years education is to raise the quality of provision in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) settings. As part of this, the Department funded the development of Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education.
Síolta is designed to support practitioners to develop high quality services for children from birth to six years and is relevant to all settings where children spend time out of their home environment. The final report on the implementation of this phase of Síolta was published in December 2013.
Workforce Development Plan
The Workforce Development Plan for the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) sector was published in December 2010. It is based on an extensive programme of research and consultation which saw the publication of a Background Discussion Paper in June 2009 and a public consultation phase which concluded in September 2009.
Early Years Research Series 2008-2010
The Department of Education and Skills funded the following series of research projects targeted at children from birth to six years: