Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Aistear is ten years old!


Monday 14 October 2019

Can you believe Aistear’s tenth birthday is just around the corner? It’s time to celebrate and reflect on the impact the curriculum framework has had over the past decade.

Aistear was developed in consultation with the early childhood sector in Ireland over a number of years and on October 22, 2009 the framework was published on the NCCA website. Many practitioners around Ireland started to dip their toe in the water and saw that the framework wasn’t something to be feared. Instead, it was something to be embraced. It reflected very well what they were trying to do every day – helping children to learn and develop through play within the context of loving relationships.

In 2016 the Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) was given responsibility for inspecting the quality of education for children in early childhood settings providing the ECCE Scheme. They started to look for evidence of Aistear and Síolta in practice. Around this time too, the National Síolta Aistear Initiative (NSAI) was established to provide central support and coordination of Síolta and Aistear implementation. Two national development officers were engaged to oversee this work. In 2019 as part of NSAI, Better Start introduced ten hours of workshops on Aistear and play nationally. These are part of the DCYA’s paid CPD infrastructure.

On 5 February 2020, the NCCA will hold an event in the Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin to mark Aistear’s 10th birthday. On that day, as well at looking back over the last ten years we will also talk about the future as NCCA plans to check in on Aistear over the next couple of years.  

Prior to the event in February we would really like you to share with us how Aistear has impacted on you, and the children and families in your setting. We want you to think back and reflect on the influence the framework has had on you. We want to hear your stories about what Aistear has meant to you over the past ten years. Think back to those early days – what changes did you make?  Maybe engaging with Aistear helped you to see children in a new light, or did it help you to see the benefits of developing stronger partnerships with parents? Did you start a portfolio for your group to share your curriculum experiences with parents, or perhaps you started to document individual children’s learning and development using a learning portfolio? Did you begin to think about developing a strong sense of identity and belonging for every child in your setting? Whatever it was we want to hear about it, and we will share some of your stories with the attendees at the event in February. Unfortunately, due to GDPR we can’t accept photos, but please do write and tell us your story.  Don’t delay, do it today, email with insights on your Aistear journey!


Mary Daly has been an Education Officer with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) for well over a decade. The NCCA advises the Minister for Education and Skills on curriculum and assessment in early childhood education, primary and post-primary schools. Mary was involved in the development of Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework, the Aistear Toolkit, the Aistear Síolta Practice Guide and the Mo Scéal Reporting templates. Mary has a BA in Early Childhood Studies from University College Cork and in 2002 she completed a Ph. D. which focused on the emotional, social, moral and spiritual development of the young child.


0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Inclusion(3) value(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Universal Design(2) Socioemotional development(1) Family(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Breathing(2) Grief(1) NAEYC(1) Culture(2) CCTV(1) Gardening(1) Names(1) Mo Scéal(1) Technology(2) Annual Conference 2017(2) pets(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Wilenski(1) Early Years(1) listen(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) dining(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Participation(1) Iceland(1) Feeding(1) Advocacy(1) Time Out(1) Dance(1) Irish(1) Scéalta Blog(89) Exploring(1) risky play(2) under 3's(3) Potential(1) Easter(1) Snack Time(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Twitter(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Plastic(1) Trade Unions(1) eating(1) IGL(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Spiders(1) memories(1) Leadership(1) Staff Motivation(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Decisions(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) experience(1) Kids Own(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) transitions(10) worries(1) Recycle(1) Glitter(2) reading(5) Thanks(1) Environment(2) Builders(1) Competent(1) toddlers(3) Favouritism(1) Creative(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Learning Stories(8) Learning journals(1) Stress(2) Kilkenny(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Performing(1) planning(1) Pobal(1) Positivity(1) Shoes(1) Xbox(1) Prexit(1) Snacks(1) Sequins(1) Rituals(1) Snakes(1) meals(3) Creativity(4) Limerick(1) Treasure Chest(1) Inter-generational(2) Arlene Forster(1) Impact(1) San Minia(1) San Miniato(4) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Empathy(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) E.coli(1) GDPR(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Behaviour(3) Children's Rights(2) Blocks(1) Belonging(3) Together Old and Young Programme(1) outdoors(3) Facebook(1) Eritrea(1) play stories(1) risk(2) Whole Group(1) School Age Childcare(1) life long learning(1) Maths(4) National Pyjama Day(1) child-centred approach(1) Body Language(1) Santa(2) European Project(1) Children(1) research(6) Primary School(2) babies(7) Consent(1) Queues(1) linc(1) Children's Voice(1) Music(3) Qualifications(1) purpose(1) Change(1) Bereavement(2) Obesity(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Administrative Burden(1) Graduation(1) Siolta blog(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Elders(1) bonds(1) Masterclass(2) CPD(1) Workforce(1) Nonverbal(1) Ceremony(1) PIP(1) Síolta QAP(1) Visual Impairment(1) Mixed age groups(2) ECCE(6) role playing(1) Vertical grouping(1) Investment(2) Mantra(1) Wrapping paper(1) budget(1) Laughter(1) UD(1) Trick or treat(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Anxiety(2) Engineering(2) Meet the Members(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Smiles(1) respect(5) Infection Control(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Fantasy play(1) Valentine's Day(3) Mayo(1) Afghanistan(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) friendships(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Leargas(1) Italy(1) Mathematicians(1) Sculptures(1) Treasure(1) ERASMUS+(3) outdoor space(3) Yoga(1) conversations(1) Event Guide(1) educarer(1) Magnavacchi(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) story time(1) Maths Week(1) Visitors(1) National Awards 2018(2) Social Skills(1) interacting(2) preschool(2) Communications(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Trigonometry(1) journey(1) Margy Whalley(1) Family wall(1) MECPI(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Imagination(3) Budget 2018(1) Degree(1) Syria(1) Performance Management(1) Leprechauns(1) Engineers Week(2) Jenga(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Our Little Seed(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Map(1) Budget 2020(1) First 5 strategy(1) ears(1) dining experiences(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Halloween(2) Self Help Skills(1) Nutrition(1) Capable(1) Childhood(1) Sustainable(1) Intention(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Running(1) Role play(1) early years research(1) Wendy Lee(2) refugees(1) Love(2) Sustainability(3) Drawing(2) Maynooth University(1) Appreciation(1) Shapes(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) feisty(1) Meal time(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Exit interview(1) Through the looking glass(1) Craft(1) Training(2) AIM(2) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Photographs(1) Orla Kenny(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Window(1) dogs(1) College(1) Plants(1) Early Years Educators(2) Giraffe(2) curriculum(5) Mud kitchens(1) Horizon 2020(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Study Trip(1) parents(5) Exclusion(1) Montessori(3) Biting(1) Graduate(1) Policy(2) Employee(1) Art(6) educating(1) emotional environment(1) Sweets(1) Interests(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Traditions(2) Childcare(2) Book Club(2) Independence(1) Self-Esteem(1) Funding(1) Recycling(2) Reggio(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) National Holiday(1) Mental Health(3) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Malaguzzi(1) DCYA(4) UN(1) HR(1) Mealtimes(1) First 5(1) Winter(1) books(4) Confident(1) listening(1) development(8) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Mark Twain(1) UNCRC(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Buddies(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Laugh(1) Identity(5) Thank you(1) Awards 2019(1) mushrooms(1) Health(2) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Touch(1) Fabric(1) Support(1) RIE philosphy(1) Well-Being(9) Affordability(1) Trade union(1) Online(1) Games(1) supportive environments(2) Ariana Pucci(1) Human Resources(1) Painting(1) learning(16) Confidence(1) United Nations(1) Time(1) ReCreate(2) emotions(2) Settling in(4) christmas(8) Norway(2) ECEC(1) ICBN(1) Gratitude(1) Buddy Bench(1) outdoor play(6) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Self-regulation(1) Magda Gerber(1) environments(1) Teamwork(1) Japan(1) Infectious diseases(1) Arts(1) CIT(1) Thinking(1) Workplace well-being(1) science(3) stories(2) Exercise(1) Professionalisation(4) animals(2) Care routines(1) Line-ups(1) Light table(1) Maynooth(1) maternity health(1) baby room(1) Albert Einstein(1) Awards 2018(3) food(1) Penguins(1) New Appointments(1) Communicating(1) Certificate(1) Mindfulness(2) Lego(2) Sleep(1) Quality(4) AsIAm(1) University(1) Frustrations(1) Kerry(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Hand Hygiene(1) Little Buddies(1) curiosity(3) Aistear(110) NCCA(3) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Scents(1) Traffic Lights(1) Interaction(1) play(31) Flowers(1) Children's Research Network(1) Academic Skills(1) Supernanny(1) scéalta(29) Cork(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Relaxation(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Child mental health(1) Síolta(105) Tuscan Approach(2) Vietnam(1) Educators(1) Design(1) Diversity(1) Nuturing interactions(1) trust(3) Oireachtas(1) EM Standing(1) Wesco(1) education(2) Decision Making(1) science week(2) Adoption(1) Death(2) Maria Montessori(1) Community involvement(1) Story(1) TOY Programme(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Leaders in Practice(1) Loss(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Maternity Leave(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) collaboration(1) Workplace Relations(3) Mount Everest(1) community(5) Iraq(1) Reflective Practice(1) MA(1) EECERA 2016(1) Party(1) Engineering Ireland(1) documentation(2) TRAP(1) SPICE Framework(1) routine(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Titles(1) Wonder(1) Storytelling(2) Magic(1) Cognitive development(1) relationships(17) Inspirational(2) Jillian van Turnhout(1) The Jelly King(1) communication(4) Arithmetic(1) Awards(2) Home Corner(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Weather(1) Care-giving routines(1) Playschool(1) blog(28) Interactions(2) Learning Story(1) social media(1) risk assessment(1) Engagement(1) Upcycling(1) Seas Suas(1) RTE Investigates(1) early childhood educator(1) STEM(2) Summer(1) INTO(1) dublin(2) Patterns(1) Celebrations(4) Exploring and Thinking(1) Challenges(1) Brain(1) Routines(1) Research Seminar(1) overhear(1) Celebrate(1) Academics(1) Budget 2019(2) Sport(1) National Awards 2019(1) Autism(3) Playdough(1) Children and families(1) grandchild(1) Pen green(1) Growing up in Ireland(3)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine