Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework
Aistear (2009) is the curriculum framework for all children in Ireland from birth to six years. It describes the types of learning that are important for children at this stage in their lives. Aistear is a guide for planning exciting, engaging and fun learning experiences and activities for children in daycare and sessional services, in infant classes in primary schools and in childminding settings. It also offers lots of practical ideas to parents for how they can help their children learn through everyday activities and routines.
By using Aistear, we are able to identify how and what children learn and what other experiences can support and extend this learning. Our team fosters learning by planning learning opportunities that are suited to children’s needs and based on their interests while at the same time be challenging.
Aistear describes children’s learning and development using four themes:
- Well-being – How the child develops as a person, psychologically and physically. The curriculum, interactions and environment encourage the children to feel valued, respected, empowered, cared for and encouraged.
- Identity and Belonging – Supporting children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and for them to feel valued and respected as part of our community.
- Communicating – Encouraging children to share their experiences, ideas and feelings with confidence and competence in a variety of ways.
- Exploring and Thinking – Exploring how the children make sense of things, places and people by interacting with others and their environment.
At SALI Childcare, providing top quality care and education is of great importance to us. To help maintain and improve quality we follow the national quality framework, Síolta. Síolta is based on 12 Principles, these represent the vision which underpins and provides the context for quality practice in Early Years Care and Education in Ireland.
The Framework defines quality under standards and components. We use the 16 standards and their components to assess our quality from how we organise our service to the ways we build relationships with our families and community. The standards cover all aspects of how we deliver early years care and education.
- Standard 1: Rights of the Child
- Standard 2: Environments
- Standard 3: Parents and Families
- Standard 4: Consultation
- Standard 5: Interactions
- Standard 6: Play
- Standard 7: Curriculum
- Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation
- Standard 9: Health and Welfare
- Standard 10: Organisation
- Standard 11: Professional Practice
- Standard 12: Communication
- Standard 13: Transitions
- Standard 14: Identity and Belonging
- Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation
- Standard 16: Community Involvement