What is involved in the formal Síolta Quality Assurance Programme?
Formal engagement with Síolta involves an ECCE setting implementing the full Síolta QAP, supported by a Síolta Mentor. The Síolta Coordinator provides professional development and information workshops and on-site support.
The services work through the 16 standards of Síolta, using them to reflect on and improve the quality of their services.
Services then submit their self-assessment portfolio and a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates the quality of their service, to the Early Years Education Policy Unit for validation.
Validation involves an assessment of the portfolios submitted and an on-site service visit to validate the evidence in practice.
What is the format does the programme take?
The Síolta Quality Assurance Programme is delivered over a 2 years period.
The Early Childhood Ireland Síolta Mentor provides 8 workshops and 4 on-site visits each year. Each participating service will work with their staff team to improve and their practice.
Defining, assessing and developing quality requires commitment and effort from the whole childcare team. The team will build the setting portfolio by collecting evidence of quality practice. This will require varying amounts of non-contact time for planning, implementing and documenting, depending on the current level of development of the service. As many of the team as possible should attend the monthly off-site group meetings and engage with the on-site visits.
Formal Síolta Quality Assurance Programme 2012-2014
Early Childhood Ireland is now ready to roll out the next phase of Síolta Quality Assurance Programmes (QAPs).
Each programme will work with a cluster of 10 services, starting from March/April 2012 and working towards preparing them for Validation at the end of 2013.
We are working with the City/County Childcare Committees to invite applications from services in specific areas. We are disseminating information to services in these areas by email.
The Siolta Quality Assurance programme and the information evenings are free of charge. There my be some costs incurred for Validation at the end of the programme
Please have a look at the information relating to joining the Formal Síolta QAP.