The early childhood sector now has the Preschool Regulations and the Síolta Quality Assurance Programme (QAP) which assess the level of quality in daycare and preschool services.
The Preschool Regulations establish minimum standards to which all services are legally obliged to adhere, while the Síolta QAP is a voluntary programme that assesses quality beyond minimum standards.
Early Childhood Ireland supports services in both of these processes with:
- A Pre-Inspection Quality Audit: The audit helps services to identify gaps in the provision against the preschool Regulations so that they can rectify any problems before inspection.
- Centre of Excellence Quality programme: This programme establishes standards beyond the minimum regulatory requirements and prepares services for participation in the Síolta QAP.
We are in the process of reviewing this programme in light of Aistear and Síolta.