• Invitation from the Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Skills to participate in a Pilot Programme of Early-Years Education-focused Inspections

    Posted on November 10, 2015 by in News Updates

    The Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Skills is seeking expressions of interest from early-years settings participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme in relation to a pilot programme of Early-Years Education-focused Inspections.

    DES LogoThe Department of Education and Skills (DES) recognises that early childhood is a significant and distinct time in life that must be nurtured, supported and respected in its own right. In consultation with the early-years sector, DES is introducing a form of inspection in early-years settings participating in the ECCE Scheme. Those inspections, early-years education-focused inspections (EYEIs), will be guided by DES principles and practice. They are designed to support the development of the education dimension of provision in early-years settings. They are also intended to provide information to parents and the public more generally about the quality of educational provision in an early-years setting.

    The DES Inspectorate will conduct a pilot programme of EYEIs during the months of December 2015 and January 2016 in early-years settings participating in the ECCE Scheme. The inspections will be focused on the quality of educational provision for children in the early-years setting. The pilot EYEIs will be conducted in a sample of early-years settings selected from those that express interest in participating in the pilot inspections. The sample will reflect, as far as possible, the range of early-years services participating in the ECCE Scheme. Accordingly, the sample will be diverse in terms of:

    • The geographical location of the early-years settings selected
    • The number of children in the settings participating in the ECCE scheme
    • The size and range of services provided by the settings
    • The pedagogical approaches and philosophy of the settings
    • The language used in the settings (that is, English or Irish)
    • The management structure of the settings (for example, community based, privately owned and managed, corporate).

    The DES Inspectorate will provide practitioners in the settings selected for the pilot programme of Early-Years Education-focused inspections with one week’s advance written notice of the inspection. Pilot inspections will generally be concluded within one day. A written report on the inspection which sets out the findings of the DES Inspectorate in respect of the quality of educational provision for children in the setting will subsequently be sent to the setting. Reports on education-focused inspections undertaken during the pilot phase will not be published on the DES website.

    If you wish to indicate your interest in participating, please complete the attached ‘Expression of Interest’ form and return to eyei@education.gov.ie by Monday 16 November 2015.

    Please find attached some briefing materials on EYEIs.

    All expressions of interest will be acknowledged and settings chosen will be contacted and briefed on the process.

    Should you have any queries about the pilot programme please email eyei@education.gov.ie or contact Teresa McSorley at 087 3296879.

    Thank you for considering this invitation.

    Yours sincerely,
    ____________________________
    Emer Egan
    Deputy Chief Inspector (Acting)
    06 November 2015

    WCCC logoNote from WCCC: The information and forms are also available as gaeilge (contact WCCC) and if you would like to view a presentation on the new DES Early Years Inspections, please click here.

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