ChildLinks Issue 2: Implementation of Aistear

Barnardos. (2013). ChildLinks Issue 2: The Implementation of Aistear.
This issue of ChildLinks is focused on the theme of Aistear. Quality early childhood care and education and quality curriculum are intrinsically linked. That is why, in the aftermath of the recent Prime Time exposé of poor quality early years provision, Barnardos has called for Síolta and Aistear to be implemented in all services, over a five year period, supported by paid continuing professional development / non-contact time In addition, Barnardos has called for reform of the inspection system by: Making sure all inspectors are trained and have expertise in what to look for in terms of quality curriculum for young children. Imposing sanctions on any crèche that breaches regulations to make sure crèches improve on inspection. Linking public funding to quality for all age groups, not just children partaking in the free pre-school year. Barnardos has called for proper investment in the National Early Years Strategy to include: Making sure all childcare services are affordable and high in quality by providing State subsidies, linked to quality. Introducing minimum qualification requirements for all those who work in childcare facilities and make sure that this happens by putting a training fund behind it. Regulation of all childminders – anyone paid to mind children should be trained, vetted and subject to regulation and inspection. Investment in the National Vetting Bureau so that vetting can be done quickly for anyone working for children. It is encouraging to read in ChildLinks of so many accounts of innovative initiatives to implement Aistear. What is needed now is a comprehensive plan backed by resources to implement Aistear and Síolta on a strategic basis. It is time to say a resounding no to low investment and low quality early childcare provision.