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.
The 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 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 Reports on education-focused inspections undertaken during the pilot phase will not be published on the DES website.
Thank you for considering this invitation.
Deputy Chief Inspector (Acting)
06 November 2015