The Latest Research in Early Childcare Practises
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) developed Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. This is the curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland.
At Crawford Childcare as a leading childcare provider we follow the Aistear curriculum. Within this there is a strong emphasis on play as it is during play that the child learns about the world around them. Childcare providers have an important role in play. They provide support, prepare the environment as well as providing the materials and opportunities necessary for the child. They will also know when to intervene and when to stand back. It is through observing the child and following the interests of the child that childcare providers will be skilled in this role. They need to continually plan, support and review play in order to make the most of the opportunities that play provides.
The environment influences what and how children play. A play area that is well-resourced, well-planned and includes an indoor area as well as outdoor area will provide the opportunities for the child to play.
Dr Maria Montessori believed that “play was the work of the child”. This is evident in the fact that the Montessori Method is very hands on method. This is best explained by example.
Within a Montessori setting to learn about flowers, instead of reading about them in books or looking at pictures, the class would take to the outdoors and plant flowers. They would learn through observing the flowers at each stage of the lifecycle at the same time caring for the flowers.
Play can be fun, enriching, challenging, enjoyable for both the child and the adult/childcare provider. By the childcare provider ensuring that the environment is prepared, resourced, child centred and flexible, they are providing the learning opportunities that play offers.
If you have any queries about Aistear or the Montessori method please talk to Cathy, Chantelle or Sarah.