The principles of Síolta are the core values that guide the way we work in early childhood care and education services. They guide how we organise our services, how we relate to children and families, to each other, the content of what we teach and the way in which it is taught.
Síolta has 12 principles which have been agreed in consultation with the early childhood sector.
Below we have provided you with an outline of these principles. You can also find the full list, with a description of each on the Siolta website.
- Early childhood is a significant and distinct time in life that must be nurtured, respected, valued and supported in its own right.
- The child’s individuality, strengths, rights and needs are central in the provision of quality early childhood experiences.
- Parents are the primary educators of the child and have a pre-eminent role in promoting her/his well-being, learning and development.
- Responsive, sensitive and reciprocal relationships, which are consistent over time, are essential to the wellbeing, learning and development of the young child.
- Equality is an essential characteristic of quality early childhood care and education.
- Quality early childhood settings acknowledge and respect diversity and ensure that all children and families have their individual, personal, cultural and linguistic identity validated.
- The physical environment of the young child has a direct impact on her/his well-being, learning and development.
- The safety, welfare and well-being of all children must be protected and promoted in all early childhood environments.
- The role of the adult in providing quality early childhood experiences is fundamental.
- The provision of quality early childhood experiences requires cooperation, communication and mutual respect.
- Pedagogy in early childhood is expressed by curricula or programmes of activities which take a holistic approach to the development and learning of the child and reflect the inseparable nature of care and education.
- Play is central to the well-being, development and learning of the young child
Early Childhood Ireland has produced a poster listing the principles and this is available for you to download, print and display in your service.