Start Strong welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the proposed framework for Early-Years Education-focused Inspections. Start Strong is a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance high quality early care and education for young children in Ireland. Start Strong welcomes the increased involvement by the Department of Education and Skills in early care and education, and the decision to introduce education-focused inspections.
Start Strong very much supports the decision to recruit inspectors who are qualified in early years and who have significant early years experience, which is important for ensuring a good understanding of early care and education within the inspectorate, and also as part of the wider process of developing career development pathways within the early years profession. However, we have a number of concerns about current plans for the education-focused inspections as set out in the Department’s briefing paper.