National Frameworks

National Frameworks

At little All-Stars we follow the National Frameworks for Childhood Curriculum & Education and implement the frameworks into our service. We promote fun and learning through play because we know that fun is at the heart of promoting your children's emotional, social, physical and cognitive well-being.


Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to 6 years in Ireland. It provides information for adults to help them plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging experiences so that all children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners within loving relationships with others. 
Aistear celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold. It is underpinned by 12 interconnecting principles presented in 3 groups:

Children and their lives in early childhood

Children’s connections with others

How children learn and develop

Each principle is presented using a short statement. This is followed by an explanation of the principle from the child’s perspective. This explanation highlights the adult’s role in supporting children’s early learning and development. The framework uses the following interconnectedly to describe children’s learning and development:


Identity and Belonging


Exploring and Thinking.

They describe what children learn—the dispositions, attitudes and values, skills, knowledge, and understanding. Each one includes aims and broad learning goals for all children. The aims and goals outline the dispositions, values and attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding that the adult nurtures in children to help them learn and develop. 


Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. It was published in 2006, following a three-year developmental process, which involved consultation with more than 50 diverse organisations, representing childcare workers, teachers, parents, policy makers, researchers and other interested parties.

Síolta is designed to define, assess and support the improvement of quality across all aspects of practice in early childhood care and education (ECCE) settings where children aged birth to six years are present. These settings include:

Full and Part-time Daycare


Sessional services

Infant classes in primary schools

Since December 2008, the Early Years Education Policy Unit, in the Department of Education and Skills, has been responsible for the implementation of Síolta.


Core Elements of Síolta

Síolta is comprised of three distinct but interrelated elements: Principles, Standards and Components of Quality. The 12 Principles provide the overall vision of the Framework, while the 16 Standards and 75 Components allow for the practical application of this vision across all aspects of ECCE practice. The Components of Quality are further explained by a set of Signposts for Reflection and íThink-aboutsí which are intended to support practitioners in early education settings to become aware of and critical of their practice. These core elements of Síolta are set out in detail in the Síolta user manual.