As we all know, high quality Early Years provision is a vital support to children’s learning and development. In line with a recommendation in Partnership for the Public Good, an aspect of Core Funding is the development of annual Quality Action Plans by each service. Quality Action Plans enable each provider to take some actions to reflect on, review and enhance the quality of their provision. All services were required to complete a quality self-assessment template, using tools provided by the Department and their agents in November 2022.
The quality planning options for year one (2022/2023) requires services to:
- Implement improvements identified in Inspection Reports (either Tusla or Department of Education Inspectorate).
- Participate in quality engagement actions through the Better Start Quality Development Service.
- Participate in National Síolta Aistear Initiative (NSAI) continuing professional development opportunities.
- Review Policies and Procedures, as part of the requirements of Regulation 14 and schedule 5 of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and/or schedule 6 of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018.
- Participate in quality improvement activities (workshops, information sessions, communities of practice and / or mentoring) through State-funded services e.g., CCC’s, NVCO’s and Better Start.
As we settle into the New Year, now is an ideal time to reflect on what you put down on your QAP ahead of the proposed ‘review and amend’ window proposed for Quarter 1 2023. As you consider your plan, here are a few things to think about.
- What option did you select and are your current practices/activities in line with your proposed workplans, as outlined in your QAP?
- Have you changed your original plan, if so, have you documented your newly selected preferences and workplans?
- What supports/resources will you need to achieve these goals?
- Are you on track for completion?
Update your QAP plan, if required and revise your workplans as necessary.
As always, documenting your progress is important, noting developments, training, improvements achieved to date.
We have listed some resources below you may find helpful.
Early Childhood Ireland resources for members
This is me! Developed in collaboration with Mother Tongues (coming soon).
|Download Library||Template policies and procedures, which can be found here.
|Publications and Resources||Early Pedagogy Magazine
National Early Years Research Day proceedings
Inspiring Interactions with Children under 2
Inspiring Leadership in Early Learning and Care
Other useful resources
- The Aistear Síolta Practice Guide, available here.
- Síolta – https://siolta.ie/
- Aistear – https://curriculumonline.ie/Early-Childhood/
- Early Years Inspectorate Quality and Regulatory Framework – Developing Policies, Procedures and Statements in Early Childhood Education and Care Services, Section 6: Reviewing policies, page 39.
- Early Years Inspectorate Quality and Regulatory Framework – Developing Policies, Procedures and Statements in Early Childhood Education and Care Services, Appendix 2: Policy review worksheet, page 47 and Appendix 3: Policy review team meetings, page 50.
- Early Childhood Ireland members have access to template and sample Early Years, School Age Childcare and GDPR policies, as well as other guides and supports. Click here to find out more.
- Barnardo’s offer a suite of training for professionals working with children, these can be accessed here
In Summer 2023, Partner Services will be required to submit a short report on actions they have undertaken in accordance with their QAP (sessional services may return at the end of their academic year). There will also be a section for services to provide feedback on the year one process; this information will be used to refine the process for year two and future years.
Please contact Helen or Vivienne on 01 4057103 or through firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or queries about this process. We hope you find the resources provided by Early Childhood Ireland for our members to support reflection on high quality practice helpful.