Morning, Monday, 11th March 2024
This conference will focus on priorities for the early childhood education and care sector across the island of Ireland.
It will bring together stakeholders and policymakers to examine policy developments and their implementation on both sides of the border, including:
- the Republic of Ireland’s First 5: Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families
- the Northern Ireland Executive’s Review of Childcare Services in Northern Ireland, which aims to inform the development of an Early Learning and Childcare Strategy
Delegates will consider the ongoing Independent Review of the Republic of Ireland’s ECCE programme, led by Stranmillis University College.
We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Dr Glenda Walsh, Head of Early Years Education and Assistant Director, Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement, Stranmillis University College; Paul Brush, Director of Early Years, Children and Youth, Department of Education, NI; and Dr Leah O’Toole, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University; and Principal Investigator, Aistear Consultation with Babies and Young Children, The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (NCCA 2009).
The conference will also be an opportunity to examine key issues, including next steps for addressing inequalities in accessing provision, affordability, and workforce concerns.
Further sessions discuss prospects for developing an all-island approach to tackling educational underachievement following calls from former Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD for a joined-up approach to addressing the sector’s shared challenges.