Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2009) provides information for adults on planning for and providing high-quality, enjoyable and challenging experiences so that all children from birth to six years can grow and develop fully within loving relationships. This article will outline the NCCA’s rationale and plans for updating Aistear to ensure that it continues to support high-quality curriculum experiences for babies, toddlers and young children.
The article begins with an outline of governance in the early childhood sector in Ireland, followed by details of the contents of Aistear with an outline of its contribution to quality development. It continues with the rationale for updating Aistear, including the main changes that have taken place since its publication in terms of national developments, policies and strategies related to early childhood. Critically, the focus of the update will be on changes in children’s lived experiences, including those during the COVID pandemic. The article will conclude with the timeline for finalising Aistear in its updated form.