Preparing for the Early-Years Education-Focused Inspections

The Early-Years Education-Focused Inspections, like all other inspections, are evidence based. The inspectorate at the Department of Education and Science are responsible for these inspections. The purpose of the inspections is to is to evaluate the nature, range and appropriateness of the early educational experiences of children participating in the government funded ECCE programme. The model (EYEI) used for inspection is based on the quality framework based on the principles of Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta: The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education as well as national and international research

The EYEI model is used to evaluate;

  • The quality of the context to support children’s learning and development
  • The quality of the processes to support children’s learning and development
  • The quality of children’s learning experiences and achievements
  • The quality of management and leadership for learning

Services will be marked Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor under the 4 areas above and this information is published on-line

Your service will be evaluated under a number of areas; the atmosphere at the setting, the relationships, the children’s sense of identity, the inclusiveness of the setting, the emergent learning experience, the partnership with parents and families, transitions, the learning environment & resources, leadership and staff relations. Play is central to children’s learning and to these inspections.

As the inspections are evidence based your documentation is very important. This includes your curriculum planning (long term, medium term and short-term), the photographs you take and display on your wall, the children’s artwork, learning journals, scrap books etc. the communication between management the staff, the communication with parents.

hand_with_stickersHow the Early Years Shop Can Help?

We continue to develop a range of materials to support services to deliver high quality and to be compliant with inspections

Aistear Stickers

This bestselling products helps you to make the links to the Aistear themes, aims and goals by sticking them to learning journals, Aistear assessments (observations) wall displays of activities, artwork and special projects. It saves you writing as you simply circle the appropriate learning goal etc. To make this meaningful it is essential to have a copy of the themes and learning goals displayed also or attached to children’s journals so that parents can see the links and understand their child’s learning journey.

See our guide to using the Aistear stickers. We also offer a free download of the Aistear themes and goals for you to post in your service.



Autumn-BundleCurriculum plans

We have a large range of curriculum plans available to suit every emergent need. Why not build up a “library” of resources to support your curriculum planning and also to have plans available to draw on for times like Halloween, Christmas or themed weeks like maths Week or science Week. Having a library of resources also helps you respond more easily to a child’s emergent interest by having resources to hand. Having all these resources stored in a folder provides documentary evidence of your curriculum along with your planning sheets and your assessments and observations

Other products

We have a whole range of products to support your curriculum and make it relevant, innovative and of high quality.  Bring music to your curriculum with “Ceol: Step into Music or “Funky Feet”, two amazing programmes for preschool children. An Mála Mór is a new exciting Irish resource that works in conjunction with the themes of the Irish National Curriculum. An Mála Mór offers exceptional value to preschool teachers enabling them to purchase a long lasting resource that will enhance the teaching of Irish in any setting.

Partnership with Parents


This is an important part of the inspection process. Do you have tangible evidence that you are communicating with parents? Our Newsletter and Noticeboard service will compliment your personal touch like day-to-day communication, progress meetings etc. Our monthly newsletter is provided to you in editable format. We write some core topical material each month for you, you add your own news and information, add your logo and the result is a highly professional newsletter to provide to your parents to keep them informed and up to date with the latest events within the service.


Our noticeboard services allow you have a professional looking noticeboard all-year- round. We have produced a whole range of interesting notices to display. You can add your logo to personalise. Some of these notices explain elements of the curriculum and Aistear which greatly supports the educational process.


Have you got evidence that you engage with your team, that you meet regularly and that you evaluate the performance of your staff team. Our employee management pack is an excellent resource and not only supports the requirements of record keeping for Tusla but also for the education-focused inspections. Check it out!

The Environment

Add to your learning environment by developing a dress-up corner. We have a large range of costumes on our shop site. Create your own professional signage for your service. As well as giving you a professional look it also provides documentary evidence of your practice.


We will continue to help services with quality and compliance by adding new products and materials. Keep in touch!

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