Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. It was published in 2006, following a three-year developmental process, which involved consultation with more than 50 diverse organisations, representing childcare workers, teachers, parents, policy makers, researchers and other interested parties. It has been revised in 2017 and LCCC is offering awareness raising workshops to all services within the county who wish to take part.
Síolta is designed to define, assess and support the improvement of quality across all aspects of practice in early childhood care and education (ECCE) settings where children aged birth to six years are present. These settings include:
- Full and Part-time Daycare
- Sessional services
- Infant classes in primary schools
Síolta is comprised of three distinct but interrelated elements: Principles, Standards and Components of Quality. The 12 Principles provide the overall vision of the Framework, while the 16 Standards and 75 Components allow for the practical application of this vision across all aspects of ECCE practice. The Components of Quality are further explained by a set of Signposts for Reflection and ‘Think-abouts’ which are intended to support practitioners in early education settings to become aware of and critical of their practice. These core elements of Síolta are set out in detail in the new, revised user manual.
All 16 standards are combined into 5 two and half hour workshops, giving participants a good overview of the content, aims and objectives and implications of Síolta.
The workshops are as follows:
Workshop 2: Wednesday 26th July 19:00 – 21:30: Rights of the Child, Parents and Families, Consultation & Interactions
Workshop 4: Wednesday 20th September 19:00 – 21:30: Transitions, Identity & Belonging & Community Involvement
Workshop 5: Wednesday 15th November 19:00 – 21:30: Managers Standards: Consultation, Planning & Evaluation, Health & Welfare, Organisation, Professional Practice, Communication & Legislation & Regulation
Services who participate in all five workshops will be considered to enter the Síolta Quality Assurance Process in 2018.
The Síolta QAP is a five step process whereby an ECCE setting will carry out a range of activities including; baseline self-assessment, action planning and quality development work, evidence collection and portfolio building. The setting will be supported in this activity by an experienced, qualified mentor, in the case of LCCC, Lorraine Farrell, who has been trained to guide the setting through each step of the QAP. At the conclusion of these activities, the ECCE setting will submit the completed Síolta portfolio for external validation. Following this services will receive EYEPU certification of Síolta accreditation.
Service who have completed the Longford Leaders in Quality Programme or the National Síolta Aistear Initiative are particularly well placed to partake in this new, exciting CPD opportunity.
If you are a large service hoping to achieve Síolta validation in the future please contact Lorraine directly to speak about the logistics of this. Practitioners interested in all or individual workshops should click on the relevant workshop above to secure their space.