Launch of Core Skills & Competencies Document

On Monday, 7 November Minister Damien English launched on behalf of the National Childhood Network (NCN) and the Crann Support Group a document entitled “Core Skills and Competencies for Early Years Professionals.” This document is a proposed framework outlining the skills and competencies it is believed are currently required for the delivery of quality early years ‘services; that promote children’s health, well-being, learning and development. These considerations have been informed by many years of working within the early childhood sector to support the delivery of services for young children that meet the national quality standards required by the Síolta and Aistear frameworks. The work has also been informed by the work of others operating in the early childhood field both nationally and internationally to include TUSLA custodians of the regulatory framework (Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Regulations) 2016 and the Department of Education & Skills who have more recently been involved in voluntary Early Years Education Inspections (EYEI).

This document is intended as a potential guide for all early year’s settings whatever the management structure or type of service, with cognisance being given to Síolta (2006), Aistear (2009) and the regulatory framework. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the document be used as a training aid to inform training agencies and trainers delivering programmes, learners who are entering the sector and those who currently work within the sector who are continuously striving to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Since the launch of the Workforce Development Plan in 2010 it is acknowledged that the sector is now striving to become a graduate led workforce. This framework will inform those developing and delivering education programmes to higher level students of the competencies required of graduates entering the early year’s workforce. The document has not been written in academic language as thought has been given to engaging practitioners from all levels. It is hoped that in presenting this document to all relevant stakeholders discussion and debate will be generated which will in turn lead to agreement on a national skills and competencies framework that will be supported by a comprehensive national CPD system and an agreed national salary scale.