The Workforce Development Plan for the Early Childhood Care and Education sector set out the key areas that emerged from an extensive programme of research and consultation. These key areas are:
- The necessity for clearly articulated professional pathways into and across professional domains of practice related to the care and education of children. These include occupational role descriptors with associated qualification levels.
- The establishment of an agreed set of national standards for all awards in early childhood care and education (incorporating core knowledge, skills, competencies and work experience) across all relevant levels of the National Framework of Qualifications in Ireland. These were published by FETAC in 2011.
- Access to flexible, affordable and nationally accredited learning opportunities at all levels of qualification for pre-service and in-service professional development.
- The necessity to ensure consistent quality of ECCE courses nationally across a range of variables including content, delivery and work placement.
It was envisaged that the cost of delivering on the key objectives could be accommodated within existing resources.