Early Care & Education Practice in Ireland
Earlier in Ireland pre-school did not really exist in Ireland until the 1980s and 1990s. this was largely due to the fact that until quite recently the majority of Irish women did not work outside the home, even if they did childcare was usually provided by family members or child minder’s located in the community and known to the family, the marriage bar meant that women working in the public service had to leave their jobs as soon as they got married and become stay at home mothers and wives. This ban was lifted in 1957 for a primary school teacher, but it was 1973 before the ban was lifted other women in the public service. The ECCE needs of babies, young children, and their families met instead by a board range of community, voluntary and private enterprise. ECCE service provision was unregulated until 1997.
When the child care regulations 2006 came into effects, no stipulation as made regarding the qualifications necessary to deliver such service beyond the person having their own children, a reference to show appropriate experience in caring for children and an appropriate qualification. One important initiative came from the public sector in 1969, with the opening of a state-run pre-school in Rutland street Dublin. The Department of Education worked with the Van Leer Foundation – an organization that promotes the early education of children living in economically disadvantaged areas. Together, thy setup the pre-school in Rutland Street as a template for other, such pre-schools around the country. These pre-schools were also known as Early Star pre-school. A total of 40 pre-school opened nationally. In 1992, Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child. This helped to bring to public consciousness the right of children. And in 2000, the Department of Health and Children published the National Children’s strategy.
This policy set out a ten-year plan for the improvement of children’s lives in Ireland. One of the goals of the National Children’s Strategy children will receive quality support and service to promote all aspects of their development. The policy aims to fulfill this by providing quality childcare service and family-friendly environment measures. There have been many other significant initiatives and decisions in Ireland in recent years to respond to the demand for equality in ECCE in 1989, the national Forum on Early Childhood Education was established. This brought together organizations individuals with an interest in early childhood education. In 1999 the National Voluntary Childcare Collaborative was established. Today the organization comprises seven national non-government agencies