Our first look back in the archive is from Kathleen Tuite who has been involved in contributing to and editing Scéalta from the beginning. In fact, she was the author of the very first Scéalta blog post Early Childhood Ireland published! Kathleen says ‘Scéalta celebrates its fifth birthday this week, and as we look back over those five years, one of the many posts that really captured my attention was a blog by Dr Mary O’Kane on 9 April 2019 titled ‘Childhood anxiety, controlled breathing and the ‘ninety second rule’! In this blog Mary talks about the rise in child mental health difficulties, and how practices at early childhood level have the potential to support children in difficulty and this was before we knew about COVID-19! A very relevant blog to reflect on now’. Childhood anxiety, controlled breathing and the ‘ninety second rule’
Our CEO Teresa Heeney selected a post from 2017 by Milica Atanackovic as her favourite. In this post Milica discusses how we can hold unconscious bias and that this can impact on the children we care for. Playing Favourites: From Favouritism to Fairness
Deputy CEO, Susan Selfridge selected this post on Pedagogical Leadership from Kathleen Tuite. Pedagogical Leadership has always been important in early years but never more so then in the world we have inhabited since March 2020. In June 2020 as early years services prepared to re-open after our first national lockdown, Early Childhood Ireland’s Kathleen Tuite wrote about the impact of pedagogical leadership within a setting, its importance for the educators, children, families and communities. The content has not aged, and the work of our Pedagogical Leaders remains as valid now as then in supporting our children through COVID-19. Pedagogical Leadership
Frances Byrne, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigning says Early Childhood Ireland’s first Meet the Members event was really important to everyone on the policy team, and we put huge work into it with great support from colleagues across the organisation. In this Scéalta piece, Aisling Hearne reflects so well on the significance of the event itself – giving voice to settings from all over Ireland, so policy makers heard directly from them. She doesn’t flinch though from echoing those members whose daily challenges trying to grapple with an imperfect system, meant that they couldn’t attend. ‘If you let go of the bricks, everything will fall around you’ perfectly captures how providers continue to feel. Still, in 2021, we rise. Rising to new challenges
Elaine Sharkey, Director of Communication and Development says ‘In her Scéalta blog post called Valuing Professionals written in 2017, Máire Corbett discusses the importance of cherishing and respecting our graduate led workforce. As noted, ‘our young children deserve well trained, committed, dedicated and passionate people supporting their earliest learning and development through play.’ This blog post really resonates with me as to this day our valued educators are not receiving the full recognition they deserve for raising the next generation of leaders. This is something that Early Childhood Ireland has always advocated for and will continue to do so.’ Valuing professionals
Our Director of Research and Professional Learning Liz Kerrins picked this post from Dr. Colette Murray, in which Colette reflects on why we need to do more than be nice in the way we support children to think about difference. As Colette says in her post ‘None of us think of ourselves as racist, sexist, ableist, classist or homophobic but how sure are we about that? Most of us are confident we are not discriminating against others but is it enough to think that and say that?’ Being nice is not enough
To bring our week of looking back to a close Máire Corbett, who, along with Kathleen Tuite, curates and contributes to Scéalta, wishes she could select all the posts our wonderful members have contributed to Scéalta over the past 5 years. Their passion, dedication and commitment to children and their right to a quality experience in their settings is awesome. This has never been as evident as in the past year, when settings all over the country stayed connected with children and their families in a fashion that was admirable. They accepted the challenges and reopened/ stayed open as Government restrictions allowed. But as I have to pick one, I select this post from Lee Herlihy. I had tears in my eyes last year when I read ‘I stopped long enough to re-imagine what the children and families would see when they came back in that garden gate…. Would they see the policies and the procedures and maybe decide that they are not quite ready? Or would they perhaps see, how much the hedge has grown, and look, the new sandpit! Would they think it’s funny to have a sink in the garden now?’ Reopening Childcare – Reimagining it as it Could be
Hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. We’d love to hear from you about the Scéalta posts that have resonated with you!