Better Start National Early Years Quality Development

Introduction

Better Start is a national initiative established by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to bring an integrated national approach to supporting quality in Early Years Education and Care (ECEC) for children from birth to 6 years in Ireland. The new initiative will also provide a specialist on site mentoring service, the Better Start Quality Development Service.

In the first year, priority will be given to larger, full day care services catering for 40+ children aged from birth to 6 years. Over time, the service will be made available to all ECEC providers who wish to avail of it.

The Better Start Quality Development Service

The Better Start Quality Development Service The Better Start Quality Development Service is an additional resource to support and drive quality improvement. It provides a highly skilled and experienced Early Years Specialist team to work directly in a mentoring capacity with Early Years services, complementing and adding to other quality resources such as training, CPD programmes, networking, cluster type support groups and individual or team based development work. The Quality Development Service will operate on a national, rather than regional or county basis. Requests for the service can be made through Kildare CCC and will be processed centrally. Early Years Specialists will be allocated to ECEC services on the basis of availability, skills and experience, as far as possible matching the service profile.

Service Criteria and Priorities

In the first year, priority will be given to larger, full day care services catering for 40+ children aged from birth to 6 years. This is to ensure that very young children spending more time in services are afforded the best quality possible, as evidence shows that this is essential to achieving better outcomes. Over time, the service will be made available to all ECEC providers who wish to avail of it. In the interim, a range of other quality supports are available to providers, through Kildare CCC

Click here for link to KCCC Quality Outreach Programme.

Aistear Síolta Practice Guide

A practice guide based on Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta: The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education has been developed by the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA). It is an online resource which will be available to all early years providers, mentors, trainers and students. It is due to be published in late February 2015.