COMMITTEE FOR EDUCATION
Early Years (0-6) Strategy
Committee's Main Areas of Concern - 24 June 2010
List of Main Areas/Concerns Raised by the Committee for Education on 9 June 2010 regarding the draft Early Years Strategy.
- The complexity of Early Years provision with multiple providers; the potential for overlap in provision; the lack of equity in standards and variability between providers e.g. qualifications; underprovision and overprovision in some areas.
- The absence of an evidence base on the benefits of early years education and assertion that ‘there is an income-related gap in school readiness’ (paragraph 1.1) without reference to other possible factors related to school readiness, such as the number of books in the home.
- The absence of an evidence base for ‘focus more clearly on acontinuum of play-based learning and development’ (paragraph 2.23) and an assessment/evaluation of the Foundation Stage of the Revised Curriculum.
- Clearly set out, current legislative provisions and an indication of any future legislative proposals, including the reason for an element of non-participation in the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme and the inclusion of two-year –olds in the Programme.
- The focus of the Strategy on structure and the need for more emphasis on pedagogy.
- The issue of potential change to the school starting age not being addressed (paragraph 3.10) – including the lack of information on the implications of a potential change.
- The absence of any costings to implement the draft Strategy.
- The absence of any mention of a recommended pedagogy for Irish Medium 0-6 provision.
- The extent to which ‘The effective Pre-School Provision in Northern Ireland’ (EPPNI) project influenced the draft Strategy.