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On June 6 2013, the HSE confirmed its intention to withdraw funding from Childminding Ireland, with immediate effect. This is a severe blow to both for the organisation – resulting in the loss of the Quality Officer, whose remit was to support quality practice in line with National Frameworks of Síolta and Aistear – and for the Childminding sector as a whole . Childminding Ireland regrets that until further notice, Síolta/Aistear support will not be possible. The Early Years Education Policy Unit (EYEPU), have been informed of this situation.
Aistear is the new early childhood curriculum framework for children from birth to six years launched by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in 2009. It is designed to support parents, teachers, and practitioners in planning for and providing enjoyable and challenging leqarning experience. Aistear covers the full range of early childhood settings including Childminding. The Framework helps children grow and develop as confident and competent learners through positive interaction with others in enjoyable and challenging environments.
All information on Aistear is available on the Aistear website.
How can Aistear help me as a Childminder?
There are lots of great examples, exciting ideas, and practical suggestions in Aistear to help you as you work with the children in your childminding setting.
You can use Aistear to build on and extend the work you are already doing with the children. The Framework will help you see the many exciting opportunities for supporting children’s learning and development that happen in everyday activities such as going to the shop/post office, hanging out the washing, cooking, or working in the garden. Talking to the children, pointing things out, and inviting them to help can turn routine activities into valuable learning experiences. Aistear also stresses the importance of play for early learning and development. It outlines different types of play and includes a long list of low-cost and free play resources. Practical ideas for working with parents, and Aistear’s themes can help you to plan activities to help the children in your setting to learn and develop in a way that is both fun and challenging for them.
For more information check out the Information for Childminders Leaflet available on the Aistear website.