How Childcare has evolved in recent years

How Childcare has evolved in recent years

Traditionally young children in Ireland were cared for in the family home and went to school after the age of 3. Today childcare services not in the child’s home are a necessity for many. There has been a lot of debate over how to describe the different types of childcare services available for children aged 0 to 6 years. Until recently Irish policy made a distinction between childcare and education. However Hayes (2007) explains “the inseparable nature of education and care in early years provision across all settings and highlights the caring nature of education and the educative nature of care.”

The social nature of learning led to the development of Aistear, the National Curriculum Framework for children aged 0 to 6 years. The framework incorporates 4 interconnected themes. Crawford Childcare works as a team to implement a curriculum based on Aistear. Keyworkers ensure that the curriculum is tailored to the individual needs/ interest through this curriculum and well resourced, secure environment.

Over the last decade there have been many positive changes in the provision of childcare services. Extra economic support was given for all families with children under 5 through the childcare supplement – this was then replaced by the introduction of a free pre-school year. The future of the ECCE scheme seems secure and discussions are even being held around the possibility of introducing a second free year.

It is now widely accepted that high quality care is beneficial to children and that poor quality care is detrimental. A focus has been placed on the quality of care received which in turn has led to a shift in inspection focus. Siolta, provides a National framework for Quality Standards in Ireland. Pre-school regulations and standards are being revised and an emphasis is being rightly placed on child development of the whole child through high quality childcare services.

All shareholders in childcare services – children, parents, keyworkers and owners have important contributions to make in quality services. We welcome feedback/ suggestions – ensure your voice is heard. Talk to any member of our team to share your ideas. Or write it down and pop it into our suggestion box in the reception. While you are in the reception take the time to look through our learning stories. These are deliberately placed at child level so that your child can guide you through them. So when you have time why not take a few minutes out with your child, sit on the couches available and share the stories with them.

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