In accordance with guidelines from Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Department of Education and Skills, the KCCC offers a range of early years programs in accordance with Aistear and Síolta. Read on below to find out more about these two frameworks and how they help shape your child’s early years education.

What is Aistear?

Aistear, meaning “journey” in Irish, is the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland.

The Framework was introduced in 2009 and is the outcome of extensive national and international research, consultation, planning and development led by the NCCA in consultation with the childcare sector.

It highlights the important role of play, relationships and language for young children’s learning and provides a guide to using play, interactions, partnerships with parents and assessment to help children progress in their learning and development.

Aistear is linked to the Primary School Curriculum and supports continuity and progression in children’s learning.

Capitalising on the fact that children learn many different things at the same time, Aistear uses four interconnected themes to describe the content of children’s learning and development:

  1. identity and belonging
  2. communicating
  3. well-being, and
  4. exploring and thinking.

For more information about Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework visit the Early Childhood Ireland site here.

What is Síolta?

Síolta is Ireland’s National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education.

Published in 2006 after extensive consultation with childcare workers, teachers, parents, policy makers, researchers and other interested parties, Síolta was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

The purpose of Síolta is to define, assess and support quality improvement across all aspects of early childhood care and education (ECCE) settings.

Síolta consists of three elements: Principles, Standards and Components of Quality. These core elements of Síolta are set out in detail in each of the Síolta user manuals.

To learn more about Síolta, visit the dedicated Síolta site here.