Photo of a small child paintingAn increasing number of children in Ireland are attend an early childhood care and education facility since the implemenation of the free pre-school scheme. There is usually a strong focus on play as a medium through which children develop at this stage of their lives. In this way, the children’s learning is self-directed and fun, and they develop an exciting understanding of the world around them.

Early childhood education and care (ECCE) is supported by two frameworks known as Aistear and Síolta. These frameworks describe how children learn through exploration and play as they interpret their experiences and demonstrate their thinking through play.

The importance of play in pre-school settings is also promoted by Early Childhood Ireland. They provide advice to parents on choosing the best childcare option for their children and have a list of early childhood care and education providers throughout the country.

Forbairt Naoinra Teoranta supports playgroups through the Irish language and places an emphasis on play in the early learning setting. They also provide a list of members nationwide. Some ECCE centres offerMontessori based options for the pre-school year.