Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to 6 years in Ireland. It provides information for adults to help them plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging experiences so that all children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners within loving relationships with others.
Aistear celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold. It is underpinned by 12 interconnecting principles presented in 3 groups:
- Children and their lives in early childhood
- Children’s connections with others
- How children learn and develop
Each principle is presented using a short statement. This is followed by an explanation of the principle from the child’s perspective. This explanation highlights the adult’s role in supporting children’s early learning and development. The framework uses the following interconnectedly to describe children’s learning and development:
- Identity and Belonging
- Exploring and Thinking.
They describe what children learn—the dispositions, attitudes and values, skills, knowledge, and understanding. Each one includes aims and broad learning goals for all children. The aims and goals outline the dispositions, values and attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding that the adult nurtures in children to help them learn and develop.