Better Start






Better Start National Early Years Quality Development is a national initiative of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) collaborating with the Early Years Education Policy Unit of the Department of Education and Skills (DES), 

 

to ensure a coordinated approach to early years quality in Ireland. It encompasses the broad suite of quality supports provided under DCYA through City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and Voluntary Childcare Organisations to the Early Years Education and Care (ECEC) providers throughout the country, to enable them to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children they serve.

www.betterstart.ie

 

City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs)

The City and County Childcare Committees roles include childcare funding programme support, identification of local support needs, provision of local support, commissioning of local support and liaison with the Quality Development Service. They are the first point of contact locally to source quality support opportunities. Contact details for your local CCC are: Westmeath County Childcare Committee, Telephone 044 9335454

Voluntary Childcare Organisations (VCOs)

Voluntary childcare organisations offer a range of quality development supports also funded through DCYA. These include: training and mentoring; information and advice; evidence based research and innovation; print and online publications and practice resources as well as specific membership benefits to groups of early years providers. Contact details for VCOs are included below.

Voluntary Childcare Organisations (VCOs)

Barnardos This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.barnardos.ie
Border Counties Childcare Network* This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.bccn.ie
Childminding Ireland This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.childminding.ie
Early Childhood Ireland See Website for staff contacts www.earlychildhoodireland.ie
Irish Steiner Kindergarten Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.iskaireland.org
St Nicholas Montessori Society of Ireland This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.montessoriireland.ie

*National Childhood Network from March 2015

 

The Better Start Quality Development Service

The Better Start Quality Development Service is an additional resource to support and drive quality improvement. It provides a highly skilled and experienced Early Years Specialist team to work directly in a mentoring capacity with Early Years services, complementing and adding to other quality resources such as training, CPD programmes, networking, cluster type support groups and individual or team based development work.

The Quality Development Service will operate on a national, rather than regional or county basis. Requests for the service can be made through your local CCC and will be processed centrally. Early Years Specialists will be allocated to ECEC services on the basis of availability, skills and experience, as far as possible matching the service profile.

Service Criteria and Priorities

In the first year, priority will be given to larger, full day care services catering for 40+ children aged from birth to 6 years. This is to ensure that very young children spending more time in services are afforded the best quality possible, as evidence shows that this is essential to achieving better outcomes. Over time, the service will be made available to all ECEC providers who wish to avail of it. In the interim, a range of other quality supports are available to providers, through their local CCC.

Aistear Síolta Practice Guide

A practice guide based on Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta: The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education has been developed by the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA). It is an online resource which will be available to all early years providers, mentors, trainers and students. It is due to be published in late February 2015.

 

For further information contact:

Westmeath County Childcare Committee

Tel: 044 9335454

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.