Following a roundtable discussion involving Irish early childhood arts and education practitioners in October 2012, the Arts Council identified some fundamental steps to be taken at a research level in order to inform policy and provision in the rapidly growing area of early childhood arts. These were: a mapping of the early childhood landscape in terms of public policy and provision in order to aid orientation within the field, especially in terms of where and how the arts might 'fit'; a scoping and audit of current Irish practice in this domain; securing an expert international perspective highlighting the key issues and the rationale for the importance of this work, and setting out the evidence for why this is an area that requires the attention of public policy makers.
To that end, the Arts Council commissioned three independent perspectives: an overview of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policy and provision in Ireland; a background paper on the role of the arts in early childhood learning and development; and an international perspective on best practice in Early Childhood Arts. In addition, in partnership with Irish arts organisations and practitioners, eight documented examples (in various formats) of Irish work have been produced.
The three independent perspectives are available to download from the following link: Early Childhood Arts: Three Perspectives (PDF, 1.08 MB). For detailed information on each of the eight early childhood arts projects documented during the process - click on the following link: ECA Contacts ECA_Contacts and Projects 2013.doc (0.03 MB, MS Word)