Aistear, meaning journey in Irish is the National curriculum Framework for childrenfrom birth to six years. This framework was developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in partnership with the early childhood sector. Its aim is to help adults, both parents and childcare practitioners, plan for and providestimulating, enjoyable and challenging learning experiences for children.


There are four interconnected themes in Aistear: Well-being: Children will be happy, healthy and confident Identity and Belonging: They will value themselves and feel respected as part of their family and community Communication: Children will develop their confidence in sharing their experiences, thoughts and ideas with others Exploring and Thinking: They will learn more about the world through exploring, playing, observing, questioning with others and for themselves.



The Aistear principles form the basis of the curriculum followed by Cairdeas. We understand that children are active learners from the time they are born. This means they learn through mixing with people and exploring the world around them.


In active learning environments, children have the freedom to watch, touch, mouth, feel, crawl, climb, explore, choose and manipulate a wide variety of materials. They experience positive responses from their caregivers – enjoyment, control, interest, probability of success – and later tey develop feelings of competence and self-confidence.


In the care of a trusted adult, a baby looks towards the ball rolling on the floor and feels free to reach out to touch it. A toddler chooses to leave the security of his carers lap to crawl through the tunnel to see what interesting experience is on the other side.


Play is a child's work and is central to their development. Though play, children learn about the world and about the give and take of relationships. In Cairdeas your child will benefit from being able to play freely rather than doing formal learning tasks.


Outdoor play is vital to your child's overall development and children attending Cairdeas are encouraged to be outside as often as possible. As well as the health benefits of exercise when children are outdoors they will find challenges and explore activities that they cannot do indoors. Children will benefit from things to dig with, jump off, ride on, climb on, hide on and under and put and push. Providing obstacle races in the outdoor space, playing with beanbags and playing hopscotch are all activities that will enhance development.


STAFF AND QUALIFICATIONSThe centre is run by a management team made up of the manager and two senior supervisors. At least one member of this team is on duty in the centre and in charge at all times.


Each room has a room leader and at least one assistant. All room leaders have a Fetac Level 6 qualification in childcare. Each assistant has a least a Fetac Level 5 qualification in childcare.


All childcare staff have up to date First Aid and Manual Handling training.

The majority of staff have Children First (child protection) training.


A number of staff have attended Food Hygiene training and our chefs are fully training in the HACCP system.

We constantly attend training and workshops to keep us up to date with new thinking and ideas and are always on the look out for ways to enhance the quality of our service.