The Initiative is now closed.
The National Early Years Access Initiative was a partnership between Atlantic Philanthropies, the Mount Street Club Trust, the Department for Children and Youth Affairs, Early Years Education Policy Unit of the Department of Education and Skills and Pobal was a time-limited Initiative to improve access to and practice in early years services for children.
The demonstration Initiative - to ‘experiment’ with or innovate and test new responses to early years practice, approaches and models - drew to a close in November 2014. Findings from the Initiative-wide evaluation were shared at a national dissemination conference in May 2014. Findings from local-level evaluation were explored there also and at local events.
The initiative funded 11 local demonstration projects that:
• Improved access to and increased participation in early childhood care & education.
• Piloted models of integrated community-based delivery to underpin and make services to children and families more relevant, accessible and responsive to needs.
• Involved children and families as active participants in programmes;
• Contributed to evidence-based evaluation of interventions;
• Influenced early years mainstream practice and provision.
• Contributed to the development of early years policy at Government level based on the results of the NEYAI national evaluation findings.
The Initiative was aimed at children 0-6 in economically disadvantaged areas. The secondary target for the programme was early years service providers such as Children’s Services Committees (CSCs); City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs); educational establishments; voluntary and community organisations and local communities.
Projects reflected aspects of Síolta (the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, which sets standards and provides certification for childcare services) and Aistear (the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework), as the bedrocks for the development of early years care and education sectors. All projects have completed their work.
For further information a summary list of projects’ local evaluation reports, toolkits, manuals & guides can be accessed on the NEYAI page on Pobal website - here
In order to inform continuous reflection and dialogue about what was successful and what was more challenging from a practitioner perspective, project learning continues to be shared with:
(the new Quality Service for the Early Years sector)
Area Based Childhood Programme
(ABC) Learning Community
and local service delivery structures