Montessori Alliance

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    1. Creating a structure to support & strengthen Early Years services in Ireland
    2. Montessori Exercises mapped to the Aistear Curriculum Framework
    3. Providing a rich online knowledge base for practitioners & parents
    4. Visit our online shop to purchase our PDF Downloads
  • Outdoor Learning CPD – Maureen Hedderman, Watergrasshill Playschool

    Posted by Administrator on October 19, 2017

    “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.”                                                                                                                    Carl Sagan.

    Off we went for our weekend of outdoor learning to the most beautiful part of County Kerry that is Caherdaniel/Derrynane/Waterville. My very trusting colleague kept me entertained as I drove the long and not particularly good road from Kenmare out to the coast.  (Kerry County Council please take note!). Having spent a lot of childhood holiday time in these parts and later still with my own family I always look at this area with fondness and warm memories. So I may be a little bit biased!!

    We started out by hurriedly checking into our quaint but lovely Bed and Breakfast and rushing to check in and register in the village hall on our Iveragh Learning Landscapes weekend.  We were first! It had started to rain and by now it was beginning to darken and nothing could be seen outside except pea soup!.  More people started to arrive and by 7 the hall was buzzing with people from all walks of life.  There was tea and coffee and somebody brought warm cakes (gluten free of course) yum!.  There was a sense that most of these people knew each other and greeted each other warmly with hugs and kisses.  We sort of felt like gate-crashers at a wedding!

    Read the rest of this post.

    Children First Act (2015) – Children First Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children

    Posted by Administrator on October 18, 2017

    For those of you in Ireland Tusla have developed a Children First e-Learning Programme.  Please note this is an introduction to Children First and is not tailored specifically to Early Years Professionals but is suitable for everyone.  Contact your local Childcare Committee if you are an Early Years Professional and want to participate in Children First Training.

    The following is taken directly from the Tusla website.

    Children First E-Learning Programme
    Tusla has developed a universal e-learning training programme called ‘Introduction to Children First’. The programme has been written to support people of all backgrounds and experience in recognising concerns about children and reporting such concerns if they arise.

    The programme is based on Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and the Children First Act 2015.

    The programme takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete but it can be done in a number of sittings. The programme will allow you to log back in and resume where you left off. It covers topics including:

    •  Recognising and reporting child abuse;
    •  The role of mandated persons;
    •  The responsibilities of organisations working with children to safeguard children;
    •  The role of designated liaison persons.

    You will need to create an account using an email address to log in and complete the progamme. This allows you to complete the training gradually over time. When you have completed the programme, you will receive a certificate of completion directly to your email address.

    Details of the programme can be found here




    Posted by Administrator on October 16, 2017

    Statement from Minister Zappone in regard to Early Years settings and whether to open on Tuesday the 17/10/17.


    Storm Ophelia – Childcare Update Monday 16th October 2017

    Statement by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

    Safety must be the top consideration as childcare providers decide when to resume services.

    The safety and welfare of children, staff and parents should be carefully considered by each service before they decide on service resumption.

    Assessments of buildings and other infrastructure should only be carried out when safe to do so. Local weather warnings should be observed at all times, as should local information on travel restrictions.

    The Department is advising that funding for those services offering state schemes will continue to be provided for Tuesday 17th October, irrespective of whether they are in a position to re-open.

    Those whose premises have been damaged or are facing pro-longed power outages should advise their County Childcare Committees. The Department, Pobal and Childcare Committees across the country will be available to consider what assistance can be offered to services whose premises have been damaged due to the adverse weather.’


    Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare

    Posted by Administrator on September 29, 2017

    The Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone has announced the commencement of the Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare.  The following is the press release from the Minister.  The full version can be found here

    ‘A key milestone in the on-going reformation of childcare in Ireland was marked today with sign off for work to commence on the Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare by Minister Katherine Zappone. The Independent Review will be carried out by Crowe Horwath.

    The review will examine the costs faced by childcare providers in delivering quality childcare. It will include a survey of childcare providers. The review is intended to strengthen the evidence base underpinning future policy development and investment in early years.

    Speaking on the launch of the review, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone noted:

    “2017 has already seen the achievement of many important goals to deliver quality, accessible, affordable childcare to Irish families. In April of this year I promised that we would deliver the benefits of more affordable childcare to Irish families.

    After months of hard work we can confirm that 86% of eligible childcare providers have signed up to deliver these measures and the families of tens of thousands of families are now experiencing lower childcare costs as a result.

    It is my hope that this review will provide the evidence base to inform future investment in the sector and ensure that the progress made this year is built upon year on year going forward.”

    The Independent Review of the Cost of Delivery of Quality Childcare is expected to take approximately 10 months to complete.’




    ACS Infograph from Donegal County Childcare Committee

    Posted by Administrator on September 8, 2017

    This resource will be of interest to those of you in Ireland. Donna from Donegal County Childcare Committee Ltd. has created the following infograph which we are sure you’ll find useful. As she says herself “The info-graphic is interactive – just click on the flower heads (yes, really!) which will link you to the relevant pages of the Affordable Childcare and DCYA website. Here you can get more in-depth information about each of the programmes available”



    Read the rest of this post.

    Montessori Premises for Sale

    Posted by Administrator on September 8, 2017

    A former Montessori premises is for sale in Virgina, Co. Cavan.  It adjoins a large country house of 1400 sq. ft. and is 400m from the local primary school.  The school itself has a separate access, room for 22 children per session and a large car-park.  The asking price  is €279,000.  Full details can be found here




    Read the rest of this post.

    Subsidised Milk Scheme in Ireland – National Dairy Council

    Posted by Administrator on September 4, 2017

    Tara from the National Dairy Council contacted us after receiving a lot of queries from our readers over the weekend. If you’re located in Ireland and interested in participating in the Subsidised Milk Scheme get in touch with Tara Regan or Dorinda at

    The price of School Milk varies depending on the supplier, so until the National Dairy Council know your location they can’t give you the full details of the cost. However, it generally costs between €1 and €1.40 per week per child.  Once you contact Tara or Dorinda they will put you in touch with a dairy to register and then give you all of the pricing information.





    Speech and Language Therapy Course Day – Caroline McDonnell

    Posted by Administrator on August 29, 2017

    Today I attended a Speech and Language Therapy Course Day provided by HSE Meath SLT Department, Health Promotion Unit.   It was delivered by two Speech and Language Therapists from Meath; Aoife & Yvonne.   An invitation arrived in the post about this course back in May, with various dates and venues to suit your geographical area within Meath.  But what drew my immediate attention to the letter was that it was addressed to ‘Dear Preschool Teacher’ and I knew that this would be a very co-professional day for us and the SL Therapists.   Places were on a first come first basis and to my knowledge, these spaces filled up immediately and later had a ‘Waiting List’ for any cancellations.

    We choose the Dunshaughlin Health Centre venue, approximately 17 – 20 Preschool Teachers from surrounding areas attended.    The focus for the day (10am – 4pm) was an introduction to supporting speech, language and communication skills in the preschool classroom.

    We explored communication; what is it and how it is the most important skill we need in life.  Good communication skills are fundamental for future learning and development, with the first 5 years being the most crucial in terms of brain development.   The SL therapists used the analogy of a ‘Communication Tree’, (adapted from Law, Parkinson & Tamhne, 2000). The roots representing the foundation skills for communication such as;

    • non-verbal communication
    • gesture/pointing
    • turn taking
    • motor/sound
    • imitation
    • attention
    • play skills
    • facial expression
    • eye contact,
    • sight
    • hearing and listening.

    Particular focus was placed on play and how it is linked to children’s communication, their sequential play and sequential language. Read the rest of this post.

    Higher Capitation documents August 2017

    Posted by Administrator on August 24, 2017

    Review of Childcare Costs to be conducted in Ireland

    Posted by Administrator on August 4, 2017

    The Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, has today announced an independent review of the cost of delivering quality childcare in Ireland is to be conducted.  The tendering process for conducting the review has opened.  The review will be given a 10 month timescale.

    The Review seeks to:
    • Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs;
    • Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, including the potential impact of increased professionalisation;
    • Provide an objective, high level market analysis of the childcare sector in Ireland, including analysis of fee levels charged to parents; and
    • Provide a range of outputs as specified in the Request for Tenders.

    The results will help us finally build a sustainable quality childcare sector which will last for generations.

    The full announcement can be found here

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