In 2017, the Clare Children and Young People's Services Committee commissioned the All Ireland Research Observatory (AIRO) NUI Maynooth, to compile a baseline report using 2016 CSO data available. Our Report contains data pertaining to children and young people aged 0-24 years old living in Co. Clare. This report assisted in developing an evidence base for the identification of Clare CYPSC's key priority areas.To read our Key Priorities Click here.
Following on from an extensive consultation process a needs analysis report was commissioned in 2017/2018. This report identifies key priority areas for the CYPSC to focus on in the coming years. To read the report in full please on the blue link above.
”Explore, Play, Learn” is an interactive play based showcase for parents and their children, guided by Aistear, the National Curriculum Framework for children 0-6 years old. The event was designed to promote parent participation in their children’s learning and development. The event was coordinated by the Clare Children and Young People’s Services Committee in partnership with the Clare County Childcare Committee and Clare County Library Service as part of Tusla Public Awareness Week 2018.
Aistear is designed to support parents, early childhood practitioners and teachers in planning for and providing enriching, challenging and enjoyable learning opportunities for children. It can be used in different types of settings including children’s homes, childminding, day care, preschool and school settings. The child's first and most influential teacher is the parent. A child's ideas about education and its significance begin with the parent. Improving the effectiveness of the home as a learning environment is critical to promoting long-term school success.
In 2019, the Clare CYPSC is expanding on the learning from Explore, Play, Learn by producing a resource pack for local groups/practitioners which will outline all the resources necessary for groups to run their own Explore, Play, Learn sessions. Explore Play Learn will also be moving to Kilrush and Ennistymon in 2019 so parents in these areas can experience the showcases for themselves.
Please click on the blue "Explore Play Learn" link above to see highlights and feedback from the showcase events in a powerpoint format with parental feedback about the events. Enjoy our film of the event below. Over 200 parents and children particpated in the events. The Clare CYPSC are examining ways to sustaion the Explore, Play, Learn message in 2019.
For practitioners interested in planning their own Explore Play Learn event, please watch the second video entitled Panel Talk where you will learn from Early Years professionals as to how to develop your own parent-child interactive sessions.
Co. Clare CYPSC : Working towards a restorative county
The Connected Respected and Engaged subgroup identified retorative proactices as one of it's key actions to be contained in the Children and Young People's Plan. The aim was to support practitioners across sectors to manage conflict situations, either in the workplace or with clients, in a restorative fashion. Restorative Practices (RP) are an evidence-based set of skills that help develop and sustain strong and happy organisations and communities by actively developing good relationships, preventing the escalation of conflict and handling conflict and wrongdoing in a creative and healthy manner.
In November 2019, the Clare CYPSC hosted it's first restorative practices seminar in Co. Clare which was attended by over 100 practitioners from across the county. Below is a demo clip of the the event outlining the ethos behind restorative practices.
There is also a film clip below of the restorative play entitled "Face Off on the Frontline" which is a dramatic reinactment of how restorative practices could work in a client/practitioner relationship whereby conflict has occured.
The next step on the restorative journey for the Clare CYPSC is to offer certified RP training to practitioners in March 2020. In 2020, the CYPSC will lay the foundations for developing Clare's first restorative town.
Imagination Playgrounds: Bringing play back into children's lives
The Imagination Playground, a modern resource that assists in the development of children’s motor and cognitive skills, has been introduced to Co. Clare schools.This Heathy Ireland funded initiative has been introduced in response to concerning trends in childhood obesity and cognitive development. A recent DCU study entitled “Moving Well Being Well”, reported that a large proportion of children under ten had not mastered essential fundamental movement skills. Ireland also has significantly fewer high-achieving students in maths and science compared to other developed countries, according to Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment). In an age of childhood obesity and children tethered to electronic consoles, playgrounds have rarely been more important.
Imagination Playground contains a wide variety of giant sized loose parts, including cubes, bricks, cogs, curves, and cylinders. They have holes and shapes that fit together in ways that allow the continuation of a child’s idea. Stored in large specialised containers, the playgrounds are mobile and can be transferred to create both indoor and outdoor play spaces.
Schools with on-site preschools, were invited to apply for an Imagination Playground and each application was assessed on its merits by an independent appraisal group. The most recent delivery of 7 units, which arrived in Clare on the 26th February 2020, brings the number of children accessing an Imagination Playground in the county to over 7,000.
'Healthy Ireland is delighted to support this Imagination Playground initiative in Clare, with funding from the Departments of Health and Children and Youth Affairs. It's so important for children's health, wellbeing and overall development that they are supported to be active and creative, including through play. All the local partners in Clare are to be congratulated in bringing this project to fruition which will have so many benefits for the children. We look forward to hearing and seeing all the fun they will have in these spaces and how their imaginations will be sparked through this initiative." Kate O' Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing in the Department of Health
In order for children to thrive and learn we need to provide them with opportunities to play and to engage their imaginations. The imagination playground is a wonderful example of how children can be supported creatively and practically to do this. Tusla is grateful for the time that the Co. Clare CYPSC has invested in this project and for the funding provided through Healthy Ireland”
Dr. Caroline Cullen, Area Manager, Tusla Mid-West.
"Imagination Playground develops creativity and teamwork among children of all ages and abilities. They don't even realise that they are learning as they are having so much fun! ”. Ms. Sharon Dilger, Principal, Holy Family Jnr. School, Ennis.
The mission of Imagination Playground is to encourage child-directed, unstructured, creative “free play,” the kind of play that experts say is critical to a child’s intellectual, social, physical and emotional development. The message is clear; let’s bring play back into our children’s lives!