Consultation with Babies, Toddlers and Young Children

Consultation with Babies, Toddlers and Young Children

Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University and Stranmillis University College, Northern Ireland won a competitive public tender to undertake this consultation, which was commissioned by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).  

The consultation is part of the NCCA’s wider stakeholder consultation to update Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework, which the NCCA is implementing in two phases.


Phase 1 explored babies’, toddlers’ and young children’s views on what was working well with Aistear and what might need to be changed or updated. It involved an innovative methodology developed by the consortium, built around partnership with early childhood educators as co-researchers and ‘interpreters of the hundred languages of children’, through a Participative Action Research (PAR) approach.

This consultation was both innovative and ground-breaking in its commissioning and design and in realising the rights of all children to have their voices heard and responded to in matters affecting them. The consultation reaffirmed the importance of respecting all children as citizens with rights and responsibilities, and the skill of the educator in facilitating and responding to the voices of babies, toddlers and young children. This consultation affirmed the competency of babies, toddlers and young children in knowing what is important to and for them.

You can access the Phase 1 consultation report with babies, toddlers and young children here.  Through this hyperlink you can also access the NCCA’s report Consultation Report on Phase 1.


The consortium preparation is underway for Phase 2 of the Aistear consultation with babies, toddlers and young children in the settings participating in Phase 1.

The NCCA plan to publish a draft updated Framework as a ‘living and live document’ for a Phase 2 public consultation scheduled for Autumn 2023. The findings from Phase 2, including our consortium’s consultation, will then be reported on and used to finalise the updated version of Aistear.