Education and Care in the Early Years (3rd edition, Dublin 2007) 2 reasons why childcare is developing
Increased participation by women in the paid labour force.
Recognition of the value of play and socialisation opportunitites for children's development. In Ireland today, women with young children are forming an increasing proportion of the paid labour around 60% of women with a child under 6 years are now employed and it is recognised that lack of childcare can act as a barrier to employment trainning and education for women. Unlike several of our EU partners, Ireland has no state-supported early education system, and does not provide a service for the children of working parents, with the result that parents turn to the private sector to meet their childcare needs. Although a high percentage of under-5s attend some form of early childhood service, whether full time or part time, publicly or f privately funded.
Early childhood services fall broadly into two catergories:
Services aiming to meet children's development needs playgroups, naionrai,parent and toddler groups. Montessori pre-schools. These are known as 'sessional' services. Services aiming to meet the needs of parents who are employed or in full-time education or training créches/nurseries, workplace nurseries and family day-care(childminding). These services are 'full-time'. Playgroups
Playgroups usually operate for up to three-and-a-half hours per day and cater for children aged between two-and-a-half years up to school-going age. Playgroups aim to promote the educational and social development of children through play and the involvement of parent. Privately operated playgroups are known as home playgroups. Funded places may also be available in community playgroups,which are usually managed by committes. Many operate in community centres,halls or school premises and recieve grant aid from local authorites or government departments to cover costs of equipment and/or premises in addition to their own fundraising. Playgroups are supported by IPPA, the Early Childhood Organisation, a voluntary body which offers advice, support and training to us members through its network of regional advisers and tutors.
These are playgroups which operate through the medium of Irish, and they cater for aroud 2,500 children. Naionrai are supported by Forbairt Naionrai Teo, which offers a similar service to that operated by IPPA, the Early Childhood Organisation. These are also mainly privtely operated.
Parents and Toddler Groups
These are aimed at private play organisation opportunities to babies and toddlers within the safe and secure environment of their parent's presence. They are mostly informal, often meeting in the houses of the parents involved or in local community facilites. These are also supported by IPPA, the Early Childhood Organisation.
Montessori Pre Schools
These pre-schools are run according to the princple and methods devised by Dr Maria Montessori. Most operate on an academic year basis, and while the Montessori method is designed to offer a complete educational programme for the child up to 12 years in practice in Ireland Montessori schools mainly cater for the 3 to 6 year age group.
The Early Start Pre-School Programme-1994
This is defined as a compensatory/intervention programme designed to alleviate educational disadvantage, and to provide more widespread access to early childhood services in economically and socially deprived areas. The programmes are based within the primary schools and avail of special grants to cover start-up and running costs as well as to develop parental involvement, thus making in 100% funded by the Department of Education and Science. This continues to run as a pilotf scheme and has never been evaluated with a view to mainstreaming.
Pre-Schools for Traveller Children (closed down because of intergration) Traveller pre-schools are run independently of primary schools,...
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