The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education

Síolta Resources

This section contains a range of resources to support you in working with Síolta. These include information sources such as research reports, publications and links to external websites.

Please bear in mind that this list of resources is not exhaustive and you may find others in the course of your own work.
Síolta Research Digests
The Síolta Research Digests offer samples of research that can support and extend understanding of the sixteen Standards within the Framework. They link each Standard to the overall theme of quality in early childhood care and education (ECCE) and offer practical suggestions about how that research evidence can be used to promote and develop quality in everyday practice.

The 16 Research Digests have also been brought together into one document and are presented in the same order as in the Síolta Manuals to promote ease of use. Each of the Standards is presented separately with its supporting research. Where one Standard closely relates to another, the connection is cross-referenced.

The Digest for each Standard includes the following:
  • An introduction which defines the Standard and relates it to the overall vision of quality.
  • A Recent Research section, which is the core of each Digest. It presents a summary of authoritative research related to the Standard. The research evidence is divided into sections that correspond to each of these Components and thereby promotes ease of understanding of the relationship of theory to practice in this area.
  • A section called Implementing the Standard. Again, referring back to the Components within each Standard, it ties the research to practical application within settings. It offers suggestions and strategies around the implementation of each Standard, and encourages self-reflection on the part of the practitioner.
  • A brief concluding section within each Research Digest summarises the main focus of the research, relating it back to the Standard and its implementation within settings.

Click here to access the Síolta Research Digests

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Research Series 2008-2010
The Early Years Education Policy Unit of the Department of Education and Skills provided funding between 2008-2010 for three national research projects which focused on practical challenges related to the development of quality early childhood care and education, specifically:
  • Development of a Framework for Action for the Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Education Settings
  • Examining Pedagogy in Early Childhood
  • Targeted Early Childhood Educational Provision within a Cluster of DEIS Settings
The key messages and output of these projects were disseminated to relevant stakeholders in the ECCE sector at a seminar in November 2010 and the reports are available on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website www.dcya.ie.

Síolta and Aistear: Similarities and Differences
An audit of Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education was carried out jointly by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education (CECDE) which developed Síolta on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.
The audit, which was published in 2009, helps to show how Aistear and Síolta can be used together to support the development of early childhood practice across the variety of settings in Ireland. It does this by:
  • identifying links between the principles underpinning each framework;
  • outlining the different emphases of Aistear and Síolta; and
  • showing how using the two frameworks together can enrich childrenís experiences.
The audit is available to download from the NCCAís website by clicking here.

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Useful Links
Please note: The Early Years Education Policy Unit takes no responsibility for the content or availability of other websites

ECCE Organisations
Click here to view a list of ECCE Organisations and their contact details

Other Websites of Interest
Click here to view a list of helpful and related websites

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