QQI launches five-month consultation on new-format draft
awards standards for Early Learning and Care (ELC)
Quality and Qualifications Ireland has published proposed new awards standards for Early Learning and Care.These are now open for public consultation with stakeholders until 30 September 2019. The new standards (at NFQ Levels 5 and 6) will replace the
current Early Childhood Care & Education standards published in 2011.
One of the major changes is that the new standards will be
based on the NFQ Professional Award-type Descriptors. This will have a
significant positive impact for a sector which saw nearly 25,000 major awards
(including those at Levels 5 and 6) in the last 7 years. For example, it will help facilitate the development of efficient progression pathways between different tertiary ELC qualifications in the NFQ.
A consultation event on Tuesday 7th May 2019 will explain the new
standards and their implications for potential programme developers, programme
coordinators, quality assurance staff and others involved in ELC. Further
events may be arranged as required.
What can be expected in the published documents?
The new ELC professional awards standards will be for major
awards. At NFQ Levels 5 and 6 they will be presented in the form of
annotations to the NFQ Professional Award-type Descriptors (PATD). The
annotations will explain how to interpret the PATD indicators for programmes
leading to ELC awards. The standards will be accompanied by a FAQ about
implementation and validation.
Furthermore, QQI will publish the new standards as part of a
set of annotated professional award-type descriptors running from NFQ Level 5
to NFQ Level 8. Annotations at NFQ Levels 7-8 were produced under the
leadership of the Department of Education and Skills using the forthcoming
Professional Award Criteria and Guidelines for Initial Education (Level 7 and
8) Degree Programmes for the Early Learning
and Care sector in Ireland. In this way there will be a consistent
presentation of standards from NFQ Level 5 to 8. This is an exciting new
development that will help enhance professional qualifications in ELC and
opportunities for articulation of programmes to facilitate progression.
This work on new standards can be regarded as Phase 2 of a three-phase
project that will, all going well, result in updated programmes enrolling from
the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.
the review by QQI of the existing CAS awards specifications for ELC.
the development of new-format professional award standards for ELC.
be the development by providers of new ELC programmes leading to awards at
NFQ Levels 5 and 6, and their validation by QQI.
The consultation process will include a detailed explanation
about how we envisage these standards being implemented.
For more information click here.
The membership of the standards review and development group
Deirdre Hanamy, Former Principal of Blackrock Further Education Institute (Chairperson)
Madeleine Mulrennan (Project Co-ordinator)
Antoinette Gibbs, Department of Education and Skills
Martina Carter, Department of Education and Skills
Bevin Doyle, Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Kathryn O’Riordan, Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Phil Lynch, Early Childhood Ireland
Martina Coombes, Technological University Dublin
Ann Fanning, Cork ETB
Ann McSorley, Scottish Social Services Council
Evelyn Reilly, Service Representative
Clodagh Beare, Development Officer Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB
Jenny Whelan, Further Education Support Services
Mary Sheehy, Further Education Support Services
Traycee McGarrity, Learner Representative