Montessori Alliance


These Resources are a selection of the links which have been posted on Montessori Alliance’s Facebook page.

Aistear Toolkit available from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)

Click on the NCCA logo to go to the site.  The Aistear Toolkit gives tip sheets, information on resources, multimedia and PowerPoint presentations, articles and information leaflets.  It also gives a document detailing a comparison between Síolta and Aistear.

Aistear Síolta Practice Guide – A living document which is being continually updated

The purpose of the Practice Guide is to support practitioners in using Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (2009a) and Síolta, The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education (2006) together to develop the quality of their curriculum and in doing so, to better support children’s learning and development. The Practice Guide is based on the understanding that settings are compliant with, or are working to become compliant with The Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No. 2) Regulations (Department of Health and Children (DHC), 2006).  The Practice Guide includes a range of resources to help practitioners to critically reflect on their curriculum and to identify what works well. Additionally, the resources can help practitioners to identify priorities for development and to plan actions for positive change. In this way, the Practice Guide can be used for on-going review, development and improvement by individual practitioners, practitioners working together and by practitioners supported by a mentor.

Early Childhood Specialists working with Better Start, the National Early Years Quality Development Service will use the Practice Guide as they work with settings. The Practice Guide can also be used by other professionals working in a support or mentoring role, for example, by County and City Childcare Committees and by National Voluntary Childcare Organisations, and those working in an evaluation role. While the Practice Guide has been developed primarily for practitioners/stiúrthóirí working in part and full-time daycare and sessional settings including naíonraí1 and Early Start Units in primary schools, others such as childminders, parents, early childhood students, trainers and lecturers might also find some of the materials useful.

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‘The Child and Family Agency was established on the 1st January 2014 and is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. It represents the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services ever undertaken in Ireland. It is an ambitious move which brings together some 4,000 staff and an operational budget of over €600m.’

Follow the link to the TUSLA website to access details about the services they provide and information on the Early Years Pre-school Inspectorate they perform.

Go to website


Free Preschool Provision in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is a programme administered by the Childcare Directorate of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) with the support of the local City & County Childcare Committee (CCC). ECCE is a universal programme, meaning that it is available to all children in the State in the qualifying age range.  All children aged between 3 years and 5 years  can avail of it – to be normally* taken up through daily sessions of 3 hrs, 5 days per week for 38 weeks per year.

‘More than 4,000 Early Education & Childcare service providers nationally are contracted to offer the ECCE programme on behalf of DCYA.   Approximately 70,000 children benefit from the ECCE programme annually which is delivered through both private and community (not-for-profit) childcare providers.  Since August 2016 Pobal has taken over responsibility for processing payments to the service providers.  Pobal undertakes annual compliance visits to childcare providers participating in ECCE to ensure, on behalf of DCYA,  that eligible children receive their entitlements and that the provider is in compliance with the terms of the programme.

A full overview of the ECCE programme can be found on the DCYA website by clicking here.



Free Early Learning Downloads

  • American site which offers PDFs to buy and also has a FREE section which is constantly updated and increased.  Sign up for their newsletter which sends out an alert about special offers and new material
  • Living Montessori Now is another American site and has a useful listing of current websites which offer FREE downloads.


  • Whether you’re gardening with children or just want to increase your knowledge, this BBC site has all you’ll need to get out and get your hands dirty.
  • Bring the Farm into your setting.  Farmyard in Your Schoolyard are based in rural Co. Sligo, and  cover Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Sth Donegal and parts of Cavan, Fermanagh and Mayo. However, they would be prepared to travel to the larger population centres in and around Dublin if it was feasible.
  • Outdoor Planning Norther IrelandIf you’re thinking of developing your outdoor area but don’t know where to start this pdf, Learning Outdoors in the Early Years, from the Northern Ireland Curriculum website is an excellent resource to refer to.







Regional Resources



  • Drama Start is available as an ebook & costs less than €2. It contains step by step instructions to keep your children active.
  • Phonetic Reader, ‘A Pet is Fun’ written by Pamela Purcell



  • How can we show children how to knit if we don’t know how to do it ourselves? Have fun learning or relearning the basics of knitting
  • Red Ted’s Art Blog gives easy to do projects and uses items which are readily available within the home.

Children First


Job Search

  • The link below is for a site that advertises Montessori jobs worldwide. It’s free to join & sends out daily job alerts.
  • Get Montessori Jobs

Language Materials

  • FREE PDFs for Pink & Blue Language Materials from Montessori Materials
  • Mr Thorne does Phonics is a UK based site and has plenty of videoes for you or the children to practice phonics.
  • Spellings, confusing words, compound words etc., Spelling City has FREE worksheets and also online activities so useful if home schooling or tutoring
  • The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) have developed a new learning support workbook called Brushing Up. It covers the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation. It also has exercises to practise on and answers at the back.  It can be downloaded here or you can order a hardcopy by ringing NALA on 01 412 7900

Mathematics Materials



  • Norther Ireland Learning through PlayThe Northern Ireland Curriculum website has a wealth of resources including thinking stories read by Liz Weir. Here’s a pdf about learning through play.






Setting Up an Early Years service in Ireland

A number of childcare committees have produced helpful booklets and downloads to aid potential service providers. While the information may be dated it is nonetheless still useful.  If you are planning to set up a service your first port of call is you local childcare committee.  Early Childhood Ireland have a section on their website dedicated to setting up a service which is well worth visiting.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Childcare Committee – setting up a childcare service

Meath County Childcare Committee – starter pack


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