Montessori Alliance

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    1. Creating a structure to support & strengthen Early Years services in Ireland
    2. Montessori Exercises mapped to the Aistear Curriculum Framework
    3. Providing a rich online knowledge base for practitioners & parents
    4. Visit our online shop to purchase our PDF Downloads
  • National Childcare Scheme

    Posted by Administrator on March 11, 2019

    The new National Childcare Scheme for Ireland (NCS) is on its way. A new dedicated website for parents and providers was launched this afternoon. The website is being populated at the moment so keep checking back regularly.  The following press release is taken directly from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

    Monday 11th March 2019

    Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, has today announced the launch of the National Childcare Scheme, the pathway to quality, accessible, affordable Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare in Ireland. Announcing the Scheme, Minister Zappone noted:
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    Playing Post Office

    Posted by Administrator on March 1, 2019

    Have a look at the downloads which are available from the An Post Schoolbag website. They’d be great props for role play and for Identity & Belonging/Communicating/Exploring and Thinking/Well-being and linking the community/world with the early years setting. 

    The downloads are FREE and should add another element to children’s role play



    Read the rest of this post.

    Sense of Order – Admin #10

    Posted by Administrator on February 27, 2019

    At lunch time, the children eat what they want from their lunch box, put their plate in the sink, get their outdoor gear on and head out to the garden.  Today Liam was the last to finish his lunch.  He was still holding his sandwich in his hand. While I tidied up and set the chairs out for circle time I asked him if he wanted to put his sandwich back in his lunch box and finish it at home. He said he wanted to “eat the bread” so I left him to eat it but he didn’t.  Instead he pottered around the shelves and at one point put one chair on top of another and sat on them.  My colleague talked to him and he insisted that he wanted to “eat the bread”.  Liam is normally one of the first to eat his lunch so we knew this behaviour was out of character but we couldn’t pin down the reason behind it.  When asked about his lunch he said repeatedly he wanted to eat it.  When my colleague put Liam’s sandwich in his lunch box and closed the lid Liam got very upset so my colleague took the lid off his lunch box and said of course he could eat it.

    Read the rest of this post.

    Montessori Europe Conference – Dublin 2019 – Call for Proposals

    Posted by Administrator on February 20, 2019

    Call for Proposals for Montessori Europe’s Conference – Montessori from the Inside Out – which will be held in Dublin in October 2019

    Theme: Communicating with the wider society and community

    ‘Montessori Europe is thrilled to announce that our 20th Anniversary Congress will take place in Dublin at the Crowne Plaza Blanchardstown on October 11th-12th, 2019.
    Your experience and work are what we want to showcase at this congress with its practical value for our participants. With this Call for Proposals for workshops and forums we invite you to contribute to our congress with a proposal for a workshop, a forum or a panel discussion.
    The deadline for submission is March, 22nd, 2019.’

    Full details can be found at the following link


    NSAI – Aistear & Play CPD

    Posted by Administrator on February 20, 2019

    If you’re interested in taking part in the first round of CPD you better get your skates on and put in your expression of interest form as the first workshop is in the week of the 12th of March 2019

    ‘The National Síolta Aistear Initiative (NSAI) was established in 2016 to support central, coordinated roll out of Síolta and Aistear the national quality and curriculum frameworks. The initiative is a collaboration between DES, DCYA, Better Start and NCCA. Two National Development Officers support the work of the initiative-a National Síolta Development Officer and a National Aistear Development Officer. Please follow this link for more information about the NSAI.

    In *January 2019*, a National Síolta Aistear implementation office was established in Better Start to provide central coordination of the work of the initiative. The National Síolta Development Officer will be co-located within this office and the Early Years Education Policy Unit (DES).

    In 2018, a working group comprising of members from NSAI, NCCA, EYEI and Better Start was convened and developed a new CPD programme for the early learning and care sector, entitled ‘Aistear and Play’.

    ‘Aistear and Play’ consists of 5 individual workshops *(2 and a half hours each)* and two onsite support visits with an early years mentor to support application of learning. This element of the NSAI will be delivered by Better Start National Early Years Quality Development from *March* 2019 to a limited number of early learning and care settings.

    National CPD Funding:
    Approval has been granted to fund CPD payments to early learning and care practitioners who complete the Aistear & Play CPD. This is an extension of the initial pilot payments scheme which began in 2018 for Hanen and Lámh training programmes. A bursary of €13 per hour for up to 12.5 hours will be paid to services for each staff member who completes this training.’

    Please see below more information on Aistear and Play and an expression of interest form for those interested in applying.’ For any queries please contact

    To Apply: Please fill out the expression of interest form and email it to by Thursday 28th February 2019.

    1. Information Leaflet on ‘Aistear & Play’
    2. Details of locations and dates of workshops
    3. ‘Aistear & Play’ expression of interest form



    New Resource – A4 Spring Flower Demonstration Cards

    Posted by Administrator on February 20, 2019

    A new download, A4 Spring Flower Demonstration Cards, has been added to the biology section of Montessori Alliance’s website. The download contains 12 photographs of spring flowers with the name of the flower underneath the photograph. 12 matching photographs without names and 12 name cards.  Full instructions are included in the download. Subscribers can access it by following this link and logging into their account.





    Higher Education Authority Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017

    Posted by Administrator on February 20, 2019

    This extract below is from the HEA Graduate Outcomes Survey Class of 2017. Section 9 contains a detailed study of education graduates: Early Years and Teacher Education.The full report can be found at the following link

    Early Years and Teacher Education

    There were a total of 1,183 graduates of early years programmes, and response rate of 46% to the survey.
    • 69% were employed nine months after graduation while 27% were in further study. A further 2% were unemployed and 2% were engaged in other activities.
    • For honours degree graduates in employment, a total of 95% of those who responded indicated that they were in employment in Ireland, with 5% overseas.
    • The largest group of honours degree graduates were earning between €20,000 to €24,999. The second largest group were earning €15,000 to €19,999, followed by those earning less than €15,000. In this case, only 11% were earning in excess of €30,000 each year, when non-respondents were excluded’



    Oops! – Admin #9

    Posted by Administrator on January 17, 2019


    The freedom I have to engage with children offers me time to try out new strategies or to just watch the children creating their own solutions.  As you will read in this blog it also alerts me to the trap I constantly fall in to; it is one of my own making and exists because I’m an adult and an EYP so I know how things work, right? Eh wrong!

    One of the children Ronan, finds it difficult to negotiate boundaries and as a consequence it is tricky for him to have positive interactions with his peers.  I was playing Farm Bingo with two children; the game had just started when Ronan asked to join us.

    Me: “That’s fine with me but you need to ask the other players if you can join the game.”

    Read the rest of this post.

    Being There – Admin #8

    Posted by Administrator on December 7, 2018

    It’s the end of September, we’re four weeks into the academic year and I’m not the newest member of staff anymore YIPEE! During the past week the setting welcomed a new member of staff.  I knew about the new addition to our ranks and was looking forward to seeing how the children would react to her presence in their environment. One of the children Francis, who is usually first to arrive in the setting took me aside as soon as he saw me come in the door.

    “Do you know I have a new teacher?” Francis asked me eagerly

    Bending down to be at his level I said “Yes”

    Francis copied me and bent down too, so now I was still above him.  I bent down further and so did he.  In the end we were both sitting on the floor!

    “Do you remember your new teacher’s name?” I asked.

    “No.” whispered Francis

    So I told him the name of his teacher; he got up off the floor and left.  I had served my purpose; I had told him what he wanted to know and he had trusted that I would tell him.  It felt good to be trusted.

    Read the rest of this post.

    Feeling Comfortable – Admin #7

    Posted by Administrator on November 27, 2018


    I am starting to recognise traits in children which is reassuring as it means my long hiatus from being in an Early Years setting has not lessened my abilities.  My colleagues in the EY setting confirm what I’m seeing is accurate and are also sharing information about the children and their backgrounds with me, which makes me feel part of the team.

    I’ve been watching how my colleagues introduce new information to the children and appreciate the time it takes to build a theme and the activities used to explore it.  The Farm is the theme which has emerged from the children’s interests this month.  This isn’t surprising, as we are in a semi-rural setting and many of the children either live on a farm or have family who work in the farming sector.

    Listen or continue reading

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