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Early Childhood Education.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 December 2008

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Questions (276)

Jan O'Sullivan


276 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Science the progress that has been made in implementing the Síalta programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45822/08]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education following widespread consultation with the sector and has met with strong acceptance throughout the sector. The implementation of Síolta is now managed by my Department's Early Years Education Policy Unit. The Unit is co-located with the Office of the Minister for Children.

Two former staff of the CECDE have joined the Early Years Education Policy Unit to assist with the implementation of Síolta. The Unit is working closely with the Prevention and Early Intervention programmes co-funded by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies on the implementation of Síolta in early childcare centres in these areas. My Department also secured Dormant Accounts funding for a pre-school initiative in pre-schools in DEIS Band 1 areas that supported Síolta standards in the following areas:

Initiatives to involve and support parents

Initiatives that support the inclusion of children with special educational needs

Initiatives that support the inclusion of children from minority ethnic groupings

Initiatives that foster successful transitions from home to preschool

Initiatives that foster successful transitions from preschool to primary school.

My Department will also be working closely with the National Voluntary Childcare Organisations and other existing structures within the childcare sector on the implementation of Síolta.