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Curriculum Policy

Date: January 18, 2017 Author: Admin Categories: Policies

Waterford Childcare Centre is committed to developing a curriculum that creates a child centred, play based environment which empowers young children to actively pursue their own learning. This process will be facilitated by adults who will provide appropriate, timely, balanced intervention as well as support, continuity and progression to encourage positive attitudes towards learning.


We provide a safe, warm, stimulating, age appropriate environment where children are encouraged to learn, grow and actively explore. We have a strong partnership with parents with a commitment to working together to build a foundation that nurtures each child’s self-esteem and confidence.



This policy is underpinned by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and using the frameworks of Aistear & Siolta. We benefit from the High Scope philosophy of active learning too.


Our approach to childcare and learning

We acknowledge that we are surrounded by learning opportunities all the time where teachable moments abound and we have the foundations and supports required to promote an engaging, evolving curriculum for all in our care. We include a variety of indoor and outdoor activities which are seasonally adjusted, reflect the wishes of the children and offer positive engaging opportunities to promote ongoing learning and development in an anti-bias manner.


We refer to the frameworks of Aistear & Siolta for guidance and embed our activities in their principles and themes, supporting parents and practitioners in planning for and providing enriching, challenging and enjoyable learning opportunities for our children.


Our code of Ethics guides our thinking, engagement, planning and implementation of our daily routines and activities from the moment we meet and greet to our end of day farewells.


We pride ourselves on our warmth and welcoming environment which makes it easy to form friendships, some of which are still evident with visits, calls and correspondence down through the years from families past and present since our start up in 1994.


Equality & Diversity is important to us in all aspects of our day and we welcome all opportunities to learn a new phrase, sing a new song, hear stories from near and far away places. Culture and celebrations go hand in hand—anyone who knows us knows that we love to dress up, to party and to dance! We celebrate difference and know that our centre is richer as a result of all we experience; whether engaging with children and/or adults with special, additional or everyday needs, we aim to do the best that we can, remaining open to new experiences, information and situations.


Using Little Vista to record activities and daily routines gives us an instant check-in facility which allows staff and parents to connect with our day using technology through a specialised app on their phone, tablet or desktop.  As our experience grows with this technology we can log observations, links to Siolta & Aistear, message parents, send individual photos of real time events and so on.



Play & Learning

All our play and learning, whether indoors or outdoors, is set up to encourage both free and directed exploration and learning. We have interest areas, opportunities for role play, soft play areas, messy play areas, manipulative play, areas to jump, dig, drive, climb, run, play ball and so on.


Children are welcome to explore unaided where appropriate, with supervision, to sit and rest, to engage in conversations, to have a little ‘me’ time, group play and so on. News and chats are very important and will be the driving force behind activities so that children and staff alike can be part of the initiation process. Activities happen at a variety of levels some may be frivolous, some may have a purpose, all will be age appropriate and child-centred.


Junior Babies, Senior Babies, Junior Toddlers & Senior Toddlers have play-based curricula. Junior Montessori, a mornings-only, pre-Montessori playroom, also has a play based curriculum.


Junior Pre-school, Senior Pre-school & Senior Montessori have a pre-planned Montessori based preschool curriculum encompassing all elements of play and learning.


Our School Age Club has a play based curriculum, with a daily themed event e.g. Cookery School, Forestry School, etc. School age children have a daily opportunity to tackle homework but we also ensure there is plenty of time for recreation and relaxation.


Other extra-curricular activities, which all children can avail of, include Fundamental Movement, Yoga Buds, Fun Drums, Baking, Gardening, etc.


Our All About Me assessments and developmental records gives parents an on-going report of progress relating to sense of self, communication, creative expression, language development, fundamental movement, social relations, physical development, etc.,


  • Each child is an active learner, making sense of his/her environment through the senses, movement and language.


  • Each child learns within the context of warm and supportive attachments and relationships which encourage interaction, exploration and communication.


  • Each child is unique, developing and learning at different rates. Learning should be meaningful and relevant and linked to the child’s interests, strengths and life experiences.


  • Each child should develop a positive self-image and strong sense of self-esteem.


  • We recognise the positive life-long implications of cultivating learning dispositions such as curiosity, risk-taking, concentration, resilience, creativity and fairness.


  • We recognise that all aspects of early learning are interconnected. We encourage children to experience a broad and balanced range of learning experiences where all dimensions of development are equally important and interwoven.



It is the policy of our service, that the equipment available is suitable, safe and age appropriate, while providing new challenges and experiences for the developmental and entertainment needs of each child.


All equipment must is kept clean and hygienic at all times

  • Staff members are responsible for the equipment in their playrooms, by ensuring that all equipment is clean, safe and well maintained at all times
  • Equipment is checked regularly for broken parts
  • All equipment purchased is based on the children’s developmental needs and interests
  • All staff must have a thorough understanding of the developmental benefits children gain from the equipment
  • All equipment must be age appropriate and suitable to the different stages of a child’s development
  • The layout of each playroom must ensure that the equipment is accessible to the children, to promote choice and a sense of independence.



It is our policy to respect the individuality of all children and adults, celebrating difference and recognising the abilities of everyone big and small associated with our centre and service. We love that we all move at different paces, think in different ways, learn in different ways, like different things to eat and drink, allowing everyone to express themselves without bias. We celebrate using stories and recipes and songs and phrases—sometimes crossing the globe to share news.

Equal Opportunities Procedure

  • A range of activities is chosen to reflect various differences in cultures, gender and ability.
  • We regularly check our resources to ensure that they challenge stereotyping and that they positively and accurately reflect ability as opposed to disability as well as cultural and ethnic diversity.
  • Special dietary needs of children and adults are catered for where possible
  • We challenge any statements or behaviour by anyone in the service and/or visiting which are racist or sexist or which reinforce stereotypes; or which are in any other way derogatory to an individual.
  • We believe that parents, children and staff can work together to create an environment where diversity can be valued and shared; and in which everyone can both contribute and learn.
  • Recruitment and employment of staff will comply with all relevant equality legislation and with our Recruitment Policies and Procedures
  • The service is open to all families in the community and beyond.




 Please refer to other centre childcare policies and procedures where further detail may be required e.g. Positive Behaviour Management, Outings, Indoor & Outdoor Play, Admissions, etc.