History and development of the ECCE sector ireland

History and development of the ECCE sector ireland

History and Development

of the ECCE sector

Pre-school education did not really exist in Ireland until the 1980s and 1990s. This was largely due the fact Irish women did not work outside the home. In small cases where a woman did attend education, childcare was usually provided by family members or childminders located in the community and know to the family. The 'Marriage bar' meant the women working in the public services had to leave their jobs as soon as they got married and become stay at home mothers and wives. This ban was lifted in 1957 for primary school teachers, but was it wasn’t lifted until 1973 for other women in the public service according to (Flood,E and Hardy,2013). Until recent years in Ireland, very few mothers worked outside the home, therefore there was little focus on pre-school education in Ireland until the late 1980's and 1990's also according to (Flood.E and Hardy,2013)

Outside the state-funded primary school system, investment in pre-school provision was targeted to support children in the need of specific intervention, including educational disadvantage and children with special needs. The ECEC service provision was unregulated until 1997. Working in childcare was not generally viewed as a desirable career choice. One important initiative came from the public sector in 1969, with the opening of a state run pre-school in Rutland street, Dublin (Flood.E and Hardy,2013)

The purpose of the White Paper was to set out government policy on all issues relating to early childhood education. Quality of provision was the key theme of the White Paper. It recognised there was a need to standardise provision even tough there was much quality provision in the ECEC sector. These findings led directly to the Child Care Pre-School Regulations (DoHC 2006), Síolta (CECDE 2006) and Aistear (NCCA 2009). All three of these initiatives are concerned with standardisation and quality of provision (Flood.E and Hardy,2013)

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