A one day seminar was held on Saturday 12th March, organised by the Cork Early Years Network, which is facilitated by our Early Years Development Worker, Catherine Sheehan.
The seminar took place in the Imperial Hotel and was called ‘Exploring Practical Solutions to Challenges and Change Post Budget 2016’. It was organised in response to the recent changes announced in the budget which had led to a number of concerns for pre-schools. The seminar was designed to offer early years services the opportunity to explore practical solutions to the challenges facing them.
The event was opened by Bernie McNally, Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with lead responsibility for early years services. Bernie outlined the changes that are being implemented in 2016 and she welcomed questions from the floor. A form was included in the seminar pack inviting participants to prioritise three issues or areas of concern for their services as a result of the changes. These will be collated and forwarded to Bernie.
Over 60 early years practitioners attended the seminar. Having heard from Bernie McNally participants then took part in two separate workshops facilitated by Mary Byrne and Nicola Erasmus from Canavan Byrne. Mary Byrne is co-founder and director of Canavan Byrne, a management and training solutions company specialising in the early childcare and education sector. Nicola Erasmus is an associate tutor with Canavan Byrne. She has wide experience in managing early years services and excellent knowledge of HR, compliance and management issues.
The workshops covered the following areas:
- Communicating change to the parents and staff.
- Clarity of mission and admissions.
- Extending capacity.
- Financial impact of change.
- Importance of forward planning.
- Supporting access to ECCE for children with additional needs.
- Managing a range of ages in limited spaces – problems and possibilities.
- The emerging curriculum guided by Aistear Siolta Practice Guide.
The Cork Early Years Network is an alliance of early years organisations working together in Cork City. It Includes representatives from:
- Association of childhood professionals
- Ballyphehane / Togher Early Years Network
- Cork Early Years 0-3 Network
- Cork City Partnership
- Cork City Childcare
- Cork Institute of Technology
- Cork Education & Training Board (ETB)
- Community Employment Childcare Scheme
- Early Childhood Ireland
- Mahon Early Years Network
- Marte Meo Co-ordinator
- Mayfield/Glen Early Years Network
- Na Naíonraí Gaelacha
- St. Nicholas’ Montessori
- University College Cork