Preparing for Early Learning and Care

Preparing for Early Learning and Care > Preparing for Early Learning and Care > Your Child Learning and Developing through Play

Preparing for Early Learning and Care

Your Child Learning and Developing through Play

Why is play important? 

Play is at the centre of early learning and care in Ireland.   Play is recognised as being a child’s way of making sense of the world.  It is how they learn and develop.

What is Aistear?

Aistear is the national curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland.  It focuses on the importance of play.  Aistear describes how children learn and develop through four main areas:

  • Well-being
  • Identity and Belonging
  • Communicating
  • Exploring and Thinking

Aistear can be used in:

  • The home
  • Childminding settings
  • Full and part-time daycare settings
  • Sessional services
  • Junior and senior infant classes in primary schools

You can learn more about Aistear through this tip sheet for parents from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.  The tip sheet is also provided in several languages, click here for more details.