Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (38)

Seamus Kirk


38. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied with the implementation of Síolta and Aistear; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32269/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Síolta and Aistear Frameworks represent a comprehensive set of national practice guidelines which support the development of quality early childhood care and education in Ireland. Both Frameworks are based upon extensive research evidence on best practice in early childhood education and care and also have been developed through extensive consultation with all interested parties including parents, teachers, the broad range of staff working in early childhood care and education settings and children themselves. Implementation of these Frameworks to date has involved: Raising awareness of the contents of each framework though publication and dissemination of information, e.g., Síolta and Aistear manuals and guidelines; Aistear tip sheets for parents; Aistear Toolkit (online); Collaboration with City and County Childcare Committees, Voluntary Childcare Organisations in the development and delivery of the Síolta Quality; Assurance Programme field test. This was a unique collaboration across Voluntary Childcare Organisations and other agencies all of whom worked with my Department in developing a mentoring model for the implementation of Síolta. Establishment of the Aistear in Action Initiative (a collaboration between NCCA and Early Childhood Ireland). The Aistear Tutor Initiative (a collaboration between NCCA and the network of Education Centres). This Initiative will see 26 summer courses on Aistear available to primary teachers through the Education Centres. Given that the implementation of Síolta and Aistear had to be done within existing resources, I am satisfied that these resources were utilised to the maximum extent possible.