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Aistear and Siolta 

In Ireland there are two Early Childhood frameworks-Siolta and Aistear.

While similar in many ways, Siolta is concerned with all aspects of quality in early childhood whilst Aistear focuses specifically on curriculums.

Siolta is the national quality framework for early childhood education. It encompasses all aspects of quality in early childhood settings for children from birth to six years. The framework includes principles, standards, and components.

Aistear is the early childhood curriculum framework. It is not a prescriptive programme that sets out activities and worksheets for babies, toddlers, and young children. Instead, the Aistear framework provides information and practical ideas to help practitioners plan and build a curriculum that supports children to develop skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding. Aistear includes principles, themes, and guidelines for good practise.  

The Care & Education Academy implement Siolta & Aistear in the daily programme of activities in the service. Where Siolta and Aistear are implemented together and supported by appropriate resources, this presents significant potential to support the development of practice for all adults who care for and educate children and to ultimately benefit children attending the service.

More information is available on:

A copy of the weekly curriculum plan is available in each room. Themes are changed monthly; each room has long term goals which they aim to achieve with the group throughout the year. Individual observations are recorded and shared with parents

Staff plan the weekly activities based on observations, so each plan suits the age and stage of development of the children in the group.


Montessori is the curriculum framework for children from over 3 years.

The main idea of Montessori is simply treating every child with respect, giving them the freedom within the limits of a carefully structured environment, and allowing them to develop naturally at their own pace. The focus is on the development of the whole child by providing manipulative materials that are organized and made available to children for independent use, stimulating their natural instincts and interests for self-directed learning.

The main areas in Montessori are:

  • Practical Life material - provides children with opportunities to develop self-confidence, self-discipline, and life skills.
  • Sensorial material - enhances the child’s ability to judge different dimension’s while also stimulating the senses.
  • Language, Math’s, Culture provides opportunities for the child to develop their language, problem solving, ability to match quantity with numerals, understand the decimal system and enlarge the child’s knowledge of the cultural world. 

Through the Montessori curriculum children develop social relationships through free interaction, concentration, motivation, and social maturity.



Care and Education Academy Castlebar

T: 094 9034868
M: 087 7616739

Care and Education Academy Claremorris

T: 094 9373673
M: 087 6705441