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Useful Resources to Support ECEC Professional Practice

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Síolta Standard 11: Professional Practice outlines the importance of CPD to continually improve the quality of our practice.  Barnardos have just published a free resource with information on the role of CPD in ECEC.

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The Tusla e-Learning programme was designed to complement Tusla's QRF Framework document and to support compliance with the Child Care  the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.

Numbers Game

First 5 is a whole-of-Government strategy to improve the lives of babies, young children and their families" (DCEDIY, 2021).  Goal D under this strategy is particularly relevant to ECEC (or ELC as the strategy terms the sector).   Goal D aims to achieve a "graduate-led professional ELC workforce" and to also improve leadership, governance, inspection and staff retention within the sector. 

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Barnardos and Tusla have developed a useful booklet containing guidelines and sample policy and procedure templates to support ECEC services when devising their policies and procedures in compliance with the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. Click here to access.

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Sharing developmental concerns with parents regarding their child can be a very difficult and delicate conversation.  This really useful resource from Barnardos is a guide for helping practitioners approach these sensitive and difficult conversations.  The guide also provides information on working together with the parent to begin to plan how to "get any emotional supports and practical help they might need" (Barnardos, 2021). You can access this guide here.

Studying Online

This free short course provided by Barnardos will provide you with theory based and practical examples for embedding a child rights based approach in your ECEC provision.  This course is fully online and takes approx 45 mins. Click here to register.

Collecting Seashells

Aistear Síolta Practice Guide resource explaining what open-ended materials are and how and why to use them.  Access it here.

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Flash cards for each Síolta standard clearly linking to legislation, regulations, best practice and Aistear.  Keywords related to each standard are also provided.  This is a great resource for anyone studying early childhood education and care to reinforce the links between theory and practice.  You could also use these resources in reflective practice individually or with your co-workers/team.  Click here to access them.

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Document guide on engaging young children in anti-bias education.  This document supports educators to teach children tools to address unfairness, stand up for themselves and thrive in a diverse world both now and in their future lives.  Access it here.

Open Textbook in Library

Click on the image above to access research digests for each Síolta  Standard.  These digests describe the research behind the development and implementation of each individual Síolta standard and as inter-related and connected standards forming a cohesive quality framework for ECEC in Ireland.

Diverse Kindergarten

The Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter and Guidelines for Early Childhood Care and Education was published by the then DCYA in 2016.  This publication helps to empower ECEC professionals to "embrace, promote and embed principles of inclusion" in policy development and daily professional practice (DCYA, 2016).  

Filling Out a Medical Form

The Department of Education and Skills Inspectorate guidelines for the inspection of state funded early years services in Ireland.  These quality inspections are based on the Aistear and Síolta frameworks along with national and international research and best practice.  Inspection criteria are categorised into 4 broad areas for quality and best practice.  

Caring Child

Cosaint Leanaí have great resources to support practitioners and providers to develop Child Protection Policies, Child Safeguarding Statements and associated Risk Assessments. Sample templates are available to download.  Guides for reporting child protection concerns are also available.  Check out this really useful resource here.

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Barnardos have developed a free eLearning course introducing you to The Rights of the Child and how they can be practically embedded in your professional practice. You can access this free CPD training here.

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The DES has developed a series of short webinars which have been designed to d to share the findings, ideas and examples of effective practice that have been gathered during inspection visits to thousands of diverse early years education settings across Ireland since 2016. Access them here.

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A simple guide to incorporate technology within the ECEC curriculum linked to the 4 themes of Aistear. Access here.

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The Children's Right's Alliance publish an annual Report Card which is their evaluation of the Irish Government's progress on the rights of children.  An independent panel of experts provide a grade for the Government's performance regarding promises made by them to children and in relation to children's rights issues in Ireland.  Click here to access all Children's Rights Alliance Report Cards published since 2009 to the present day.

Image by Sharon McCutcheon

The Conscious Kid Is An Education, Research And Policy Organization That Supports Families And Educators In Taking Action To Disrupt Racism, Inequity And Bias.  Access the website and check out their resources here.

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The Tusla Quality Regulatory Framework document is an extremely useful tool which breaks down the requirements for each individual regulation within the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 to help you maintain compliance. 

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The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) published the Aistear Curriculum Framework in 2009.  However, prior to this, the NCCA commissioned four research papers which were based on both national and international research in relation to ECEC.  These four papers informed the development of Aistear.  Photo courtesy of Adam Clarkson | Flickr

Kids Tool Box

Tusla inspections are carried out to ensure that ECEC services are operating in compliance with the regulations outlined within the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.  Tusla have published an inspection tool that pre-school services can utilise to perform an evaluation of their service to ensure regulatory compliance in preparation for a Tusla inspection.  Use this inspection tool in conjunction with the Tusla Quality Regulatory Framework.

Transplant

A sub-group of the Early Years Forum in Ireland have developed this code to support professionals in ECEC in relation to a number of important areas of responsibility and ethical practice in order to underpin quality and professional practice sector wide. Click here to access the document.

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The Children's Rights Alliance website provides a wealth of information on the rights of children as set out under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Information is also provided regarding Ireland and the implementation of the UNCRC, State Reports and Parallel Reports. Click here to access their website.

Kids in Preschool

Resource from Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority in Australia describing features, benefits, planning and the role of the child and adult when implementing an emergent curriculum.  Access it here.

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A free booklet from the Forest School Association providing information on what is involved in setting up a Forest School. Access this resource here.

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To support practitioner understanding of theory into practice, I have created this infographic highlighting connections between The Lundy Model of Participation (Lundy, 2007), The Child Participation Framework (DCEDIY, 2021) and the Síolta Quality Standards to help practitioners implement authentic participation in quality practice. Click here to access.

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Guidance to those working in ELC about why the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate undertakes inspections, how inspections work and what the various outcomes of inspections are. Click here to access.