Síolta & Quality


What is Síolta?

Síolta is the national quality framework for early childhood care and education in Ireland.

Síolta establishes 16 quality standards that all early childhood services should work towards.

It has 2 very important functions:

  1. It guides the way all early childhood care and education services work and develop in Ireland.

    It does this by establishing core principles to which all services must adhere and by guiding service providers and practitioners towards quality practice in all areas of service provision.

  2. Síolta also serves as a self-assessment Quality Assurance Programme.
    Services participating in this programme work through all 16 standards of Síolta towards achieving high quality and accreditation.



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History of Síolta

Síolta was first published in 2006 and it was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education (CECDE), on behalf of the then Department of Education and Science.

The Síolta programme is now managed by the Early Years Education Policy Unit (EYEPU) within the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).


The Meaning of Síolta

The word Síolta means ‘seeds’ in Irish. This symbol of the seed is used as a means of communicating the ways in which the framework can be used as a developmental tool, facilitating the growth of each service to their full potential and in their own distinctive way.


The Use of Síolta

Síolta is a framework that can be used no matter what kind of curriculum you follow – whether it is play-based, Steiner, Froebel, Montessori or Primary school.



Principles of Síolta

This is a simple description for this article

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Standards of Síolta

Síolta has 16 standards that guide the way we provide and develop early childhood care and education services. These range from the Rights of the Child to Legislation and Regulation. Each standard is broken down into components and questions that help us to reflect and think about improvements we could make. Here, we have provided [...]

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Síolta Quality Assurance Programme

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 [...]

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