This initiative, which was launched in 2011 and runs until 2014 is the result of collaboration between The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Mount Street Club Trustees, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), the Early Years Education Policy Unit (DES) and Pobal.
The focus of the NEYAI initiative is on improving access to quality early childhood care and education services for children (birth to six years) and their families living in disadvantaged areas. The initiative aims to develop innovative community based models to respond to local needs and to increase the involvement in and participation of children and parents in service provision. This initiative recognises that Siolta, The National Quality Framework and Aistear, The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework are important reference points and tools that the sector can use in improving practice and provision.
There is a need at a national level to build evidence through research and evaluation undertaken in an Irish context. 11 projects from around the country have been selected and funded under this initiative. Each of the selected projects has a specific focus; parents, pedagogy, professionalism, language, numeracy and training. These projects will be evaluated at a national level and the learning emerging from the research will contribute to and influence future policy development.
Early Childhood Ireland has been involved in a number of the selected projects in a number of roles. Over the coming months we will profile selected projects through the EZine and keep you up-to-date with developments.
Launch of the South Dublin Initiative
On Thursday, 29th March, Minister Frances Fitzgerald (DCYA) launched the successful South Dublin Initiative which is led by the CPLN Area Partnership.
This project aims to ‘address the gaps between training and practice’ and is guided by the following questions:
How can we ensure that training and other interventions positively impact on practice in early childhood care and education services?
How can governance of services be best supported in a community context?
How can local level interagency collaborations support sustainability?
A core element of the South Dublin Initiative will be the provision of supports to services, staff and students, enabling the transfer and translation of theory to practice. A main support will be the availability of an early childhood mentor to the eight participating services in Tallaght and Clondalkin. This project is also concerned with the governance of services and inter-agency working at a local level.
Early Childhood Ireland, with support from the National University of Ireland Maynooth, will undertake the local evaluation of this project, which will commence shortly.