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Heather Quinn

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Childcare

By Eimile Thornton, Tracy O'Connell, Georgia Statham & Heather Quinn

Childcare options
Benefits of Childcare to the Child
The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) study has shown that:
Children with no pre-school experience (the ‘home group’) have poorer cognitive attainment, sociability and concentration when they start primary school than those who have some pre-school learning.

Pre-school education improves children’s development and behaviour, and found that children who start pre-school under the age of three years have better peer relationships.

Disadvantaged children benefited significantly from good quality pre-school experiences, especially where they were with a mixture of children from different social backgrounds.

One of the key findings from Day-care Trust’s ‘Listening to children about childcare’ research was that most children enjoy being in childcare and wish they could have more of it. Most of the children we spoke to said that after school clubs allowed them to make friends and have access to facilities and activities they would not otherwise have.

Generally, childcare was seen as a positive influence on children's lives, providing them with opportunities to have fun, make friends, learn and get some independence from their families.

Findings published by the Institute of Education show that children’s achievements in language, reading and numeracy increased in proportion to the number of months they spent in pre-school. At age five, children who had attended pre-school were between four and six months ahead of those who did not attend pre-school.

Pre-School Regulations

Provide a secure, gentle, home-like environment where the young child can flourish. Mainly privately owned catering for 3-5 year olds for less than 3.5 hours .

High scope curriculum

High/Scope values parents as partners in the care and education of their child and works on a partnership to meet the developmental needs of the individual child.


They are private operators usually caring for children (0-5 years of age) in childminder's home. Childminders caring for 3+ children must be registered.
They are self employed.


A Naíonraí is a playgroup run through Irish for children (aged 3-5 years), who attend daily for 2-3 hours in a pleasant, cheerful and safe environment, under the guidance and supervision of a Stiúrthóir (Leader).

Montessori Pre-School Education

Montessori education is based on the understanding that education begins at birth and is a natural process which develops spontaneously.
Caters for children approximately 4 years to 5 years of age for less than 3.5 hours a day.
Community Childcare Service

Childcare in your local community for residents, typically in a local hall or community centre

Pre-School Services for Children with Special Needs
The department of Education and Skills facilitates a visiting teacher service for Children with Hearing and/or Sight impairments
- This service runs from when the child is two years of age

Young children with severe disabilities can avail of services provided by the HSE and also by voluntary bodies

The Department of Education have developed pre-school classes for Children with Autism which are attached to primary schools
-There are 56 of these around the country

Children with special needs can also avail of early years education in pre-school classes in Schools which cater only for children with special needs or less sever cases in national schools assisted by an SNA (Special needs assistant)

Home Tuition
Home tuition Scheme was developed to provide compensatory education to children who are unable to attend school

This facility has been extended in recent years so that children who are awaiting a suitable educational placement can still avail of education

The Scheme can fund up to 20 hours weekly for 2 ½ -3 year olds who are awaiting an appropriate placement

First regulations introduced in 1996

Definition of a pre-school child is any child under 6 and not attending a national school

Purpose of Regulations:

To ensure standards are in place to:
Safeguard the health and welfare of children in pre-school services
Promote children ’s development through the provision of developmentally and culturally appropriate materials, experiences, activities and interactions.

The DCYA's article 5 states that :
''A person carrying on a pre-school service shall ensure that each child’s learning, development and well-being is facilitated within the daily life of the service through the provision of the appropriate opportunities, experiences, activities, interaction, materials and equipment, having regard to the age and stage of development of the child and the child’s cultural context.''

Regulations headings are:
Management and staffing

Standards of premises and facilities

Food and nutrition


Behavior management

Other regulations and guidelines
There are regulations on heating, lighting, ventilation, waste disposal, insurance
There should be space for staff to talk to parents confidentially and for staff breaks
Philosophy and ethos of service should be respected as far as possible
Procedures and training should be implemented to ensure uniformity of inspection process nationally
Service should make Inspection Report available to parents
Full day care (5 hours+) should provide 2 full meals and 2 snacks.
Sofa, beanbags, car seats or buggies are not suitable for sleeping
Rotas and procedures should be in place for checking sleeping babies
Children in part-time and full day care should have access to outdoors on a daily basis

Growing up in Ireland study: Wave 1 (9 mnts)
Summarises some of the characteristics of 9 month olds and their experiences of non-parental childcare
Study collected when children were just 9 months
Non-parental childcare is usually the child’s first sustained contact with adults other than his/her immediate family
Childcare is an area of significant policy development in Ireland over the last 10 years

Some key aspects discussed in study
1. Type of childcare used with 9 month olds
2. Number of hours and cost of childcare
3. Reasons mothers had for choosing childcare
1. Type of Childcare:
Almost 4 in 10 nine month olds are in non- parental childcare
Mothers working outside the home and higher income families are more likely to use regular childcare
41% of mother who worked 10 hours or less outside the home had regular childcare arrangements, compared to 80% of those who worked 30 hours or more outside the home
2.Number of hours and cost of childcare
38% of 9 month olds who were in some sort of non-parental childcare spent on average 25 hours in childcare a week
Mothers spent on average €5.14 per hour on the main form of childcare
Price varied from €4.30 - €5.34 in the case of relative based childcare
Children were on average 6 ½ months when they started non-parental childcare while children who were with relatives started a little earlier at the age of 5 ¾ months

3.Reasons mothers had for choosing childcare
38% of mothers out of the study were asked to specify important reasons on for choosing their childcare:
66% of these mothers said that quality of childcare was the most important reason
12% said convenience
And only 2% said they chose there childcare because it was linked to their job

The Committee on the Rights of the Child recognised education during early childhood as “Beginning at birth and closely linked to young children's right to maximum development (art. 6.2)”

Mainly privately owned catering for 0-5 year olds for full days. A crèche, daycare or nursery is a childcare centre where babies, toddlers, and young children are cared for in a safe and stimulating surrounding. Crèches cater to the children of parents with full-time or part-time jobs.
Growing up in Ireland study: Wave 2 (3 years)
This is a second in a series of key findings following wave 1 when the children were just 9 months old.
The 9 month old's were re-interviews between January and August 2011 when the children were 3 years.
Non-parental Childcare
At the age of 3 over half of the 3 year olds were in non-parental childcare.
At 9 months around 68% of mothers said they were going to use full time or part time childcare but once interviewed again only half of the children were in non-parental childcare for more than 8 hours a week
Graph showing type of childcare at 9 months and at 3 years
Reason for picking type of childcare
Average hours spent in childcare
Main type of childcare
Full transcript