A Career in Childcare
The increased role of women in the labour force in Ireland over the last 20 years has created a new industry and a new requirement for society. Childcare, the paid care of children by people other than their immediate family, has been part of and subject to the changes in Irish society and is increasingly a crucial industry demanding our attention, concern and care. Many of the workers were unqualified and inexperienced due to the lack of legislation and protection covering this sector. Our children are the future of our country; therefore it is imperative that they receive adequate and appropriate care and education to ensure that they grow to become well-balanced individuals. Early education is the first step towards achieving this goal. “www.cym.ie” 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. 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. Síolta comprises three distinct but interrelated elements, namely Principles, Standards and Components of Quality. The Principles provide the overall vision of the Framework. The Standards, Components and Signposts for Reflection allow for practical application of this vision across all aspect of practice in an ECCE setting. “www.siolta.ie” Síolta’s Principles:
1)Early childhood is a significant and distinct time in life that must be nurtured, respected, valued and supported in its own right. - Every child needs and has the right to positive experiences in early childhood. As with every other phase in life, positive supports and adequate resources are necessary to make the most of this period. 2) The child's individuality, strengths, rights and needs are central in the provision of quality early childhood experiences. - The child is an active agent in her/his own development through her/his interactions with the world. These interactions are motivated by the individual child's abilities, interests, previous experiences and desire for independence. Children have the right to be listened to and have their views on issues that affect them heard, valued and responded to. 3)Parents are the primary educators of the child and have a pre-eminent role in promoting her/his well-being, learning and development. - Quality early childhood care and education must value and support the role of parents. Open, honest and respectful partnership with parents is essential in promoting the best interests of the child. Mutual partnership contributes to establishing harmony and continuity between the diverse environments the child experiences in the early years. 4) Responsive, sensitive and reciprocal relationships, which are consistent over time, are essential to the wellbeing, learning and development of the young child. - The relationships that the child forms within her/his immediate and extended environment from birth will significantly influence her/his well-being, development and learning. These relationships are two way and include adults, peers, family and the extended community. Positive relationships, which are secure, responsive and respectful and which provide consistency and continuity over time, are the cornerstone of the child's well-being.
5) Equality is an essential characteristic of quality early childhood care and education. -Equality, as articulated in Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and in the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2004, is a fundamental characteristic of quality...
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