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This framework is called Aistear, the Irish word for journey.


A child's early learning development marks the beginning of his or her lifelong learning journeys.

Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold.


Aistear is based on 12 principles of early learning and development. These are presented in three groups:


1. The first group concerns children and their lives in early childhood:

■ the child’s uniqueness

■ equality and diversity

■ children as citizens.


2. The second group concerns children’s connections with others:

■ relationships

■ parents, family and community

■ the adult’s role.


3. The third group concerns how children learn and develop:

■ holistic learning and development

■ active learning

■ play and hands-on experiences

■ relevant and meaningful experiences

■ communication and language

■ the learning environment


The aim of Aistear is to help every child to grow and develop as a competent and confident learner.

Ultimately, according to Aistear, early childhood care and education must support a child’s sense of:

  • Wellbeing

  • Identity and Belonging

  • Communicating


Extract from NCCA

Please click on the image below for more details




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