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Minister O’Sullivan announces the first major review of education and training programmes for early years sector

Advisory Group on Early Years Education issues to be established for the first time

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has announced the first major review of education and training programmes that lead to qualifications in the early years care and education sector.

This area has received increased attention in recent years through the introduction in 2010 of minimum requirements for those delivering the free pre-school year, and through the findings of a major study by the European Commission in 2011 on ‘Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care’.

The review will be conducted by the Department of Education and Skills, with input from relevant stakeholders as appropriate.

There will be a public consultation process to gather the views of those involved in delivering programmes leading to early years’ qualifications, as well as graduates of these programmes.

Announcing the review, Minister O’Sullivan highlighted the importance of the sector:

Through early years education, we can ensure that all children receive the necessary supports to enable them to develop to their full potential. The education and training sector has a key role to play in ensuring that those working with young children are appropriately qualified to facilitate that process.

This review will make sure that we are equipping graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and disposition to enable them to support children’s educational development.

The Minister also announced her intention to establish an Advisory Group to advise the Department on early years education issues. The Group will be established later this year.