Better Start

Better Start National Early Years Quality Development is a national initiative established by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and hosted by Pobal. Its aim is to promote and enhance inclusive high-quality Early Learning and Care (ELC) for children from birth to six years of age in Ireland.

Better Start offers three operational programmes:

  • Quality Development Service- QDS

The Better Start Quality Development Service is a national initiative, available to all Early Learning and Care (ELC) settings in Ireland.  A team of Early Years Specialists provides professional development to settings, catering for children from birth to 6 years. Specialists deliver mentoring and coaching to implement the national frameworks Síolta and Aistear, enhancing quality practice and positive outcomes for children

  • Access and Inclusion Model – AIM

The Access and Inclusion Model ensures that all children, regardless of disability, can fully take part in mainstream pre-school. AIM helps pre-schools to create an inclusive environment and provides supports to children to meaningfully participate in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) which is a two-year state-funded pre-school programme.

  • Learning and Development

Better Start works with Early Learning and Care providers to improve quality and create an inclusive environment. The Better Start team coordinates the delivery of Continuing Professional Development, including Hanen Teacher Talk, Lámh Module One and Sensory Processing in Early Learning (SPEL).

You can find more about Better Start and how it works here.

Programme Contact Details

AIM Training


Better Start Enquiries


Quality Development Service Queries