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The Irish Early Years Framework for Curriculum Planning.

Updated on September 16, 2012
Aistear - A Curriculum Creating Confident Children
Aistear - A Curriculum Creating Confident Children

Aistear - The Framework for Curriculum Planning

Aistear is the Irish frame work for curriculum planning for the early years. Aistear is the Irish word for Journey, symbolising the journey of learning that the child undertakes from the home right through their early years. Aistear follows a child from birth to 6 and so therefore it follows through from home to pre-school to the infant classes in primary school. It has 4 themes and 12 principals and is in simple terms based on the UN Convention on the rights of the child. It requires childcare practitioners to think about the actitvites they plan in the preschool, ensuring that they are fulfilling the learning and developmental needs of the child. The aim is that through providing ideas and examples on the types of learning and development that are important, carers, practitioners and parents will be able to translate this into a curriculum that will nurture the child and help them to reach their full potential reaching confident and competant learners.

Aistear in Primary School

Themes and Guidelines of Aistear

Aistear comes with themes and guidelines and an online toolkit. It is easily adaptible to any childcare setting, including playgroups, full daycare and childminding settings.

The Themes of Aistear look at

  1. Exploring and thinking,
  2. Communication
  3. Well being
  4. Identity and belonging

These themes can be adapted quite easily to suit the age and interests of the children in individual settings.

The Guidelines of Aistear look at

  • Childcare Partnership with parents
  • Interactions with children
  • Play
  • Assessment of children

When a childcare pratitioner is planning the activiites and time tables for the setting they must bring the 4 themes into the schedule and be aware of the guidelines. They must document evidence that this is being achieved through, writing out, or photos, or video etc. This enables all children to get the very best out of their early years education

Aistear - A Curriculum that allows space for the child to think and reason
Aistear - A Curriculum that allows space for the child to think and reason

Other Links To Quality

Aistear also builds on other aspects of the childhood sector and connects in with these to form a Framework that works well together. These include

Siolta the National Framework for Quality (See

The 2006 Revised Childcare Regulations


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