Category 3: Partnership with Families Innovation Award

Families are the most important people in children’s lives. Early Childhood Ireland recognises that strong partnerships between families and early years services are central to children’s well-being and belonging.

Category 3: Partnership with Families Innovation Award

Parents are the most important partners in children’s early learning, and their participation is essential. The family is the first and most important place for children to grow and develop, and parents (and guardians) are responsible for each child’s well being, health and development. 

Early Childhood Ireland recognises that strong partnerships between families and early years services are central to children’s learning and development, well-being and belonging.

The family should be fully involved in education and care for their child. Services should be designed in partnership with families and be based on trust and mutual respect. Parents and the setting should have common goals and clear two-way communication processes.

In the spirit of the award, a statement of support from a parent (s), or other family members that are important to the child’s learning and development and that engage with the child’s learning in the service, is required to apply for this award. The written statement should take account of the criteria below.


Criteria for Short-listing and Judging

Please use the application form to demonstrate:

Criteria Marks
  • Support all families to feel welcomed, valued and respected in the service, in all their diversity.
  • Share information about the setting and the curriculum with parents.
  • Share information about their child’s learning and development with parents.
  • Help parents to support the child’s learning and development at home.
  • Consult with parents on their views and ideas, and act on them.
  • Involve parents and support them to contribute to the setting to enrich children’s learning experiences.
  •  The story should provide strong evidence that the innovation has enriched children’s learning experience.
  • The themes from the Aistear Framework should underpin your story. However, it is not necessary to make direct links to the learning goals and aims.
Total Marks 100


Documentation and Supporting Evidence

  • The maximum word limit is 750 words.
  • Award entries must be factually accurate.
  • Supportive evidence may include for e.g. a maximum of one relevant photograph, artwork but is not essential.
  • A completed application form
  • A signed Declaration.
  • Consents for all photos included (photos will not be accepted without photo consents).
  • Photograph submission form, if applicable.
  • A written testimonial from a parents and/or other family members.


Closing Date: 14 February 2020


For more information on how to apply and the short-listing and judging process see here.


For more information on our National Annual Awards and Gala Dinner, please click here to visit our Conference 2020 website


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