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DkIT PhD Student Publishes Book on Early Childhood Education

27 April 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology are delighted to report that a new book written by Paula Walshe, a PhD student at DkIT, has just been published by Boru Press.  Paula Walshe is an experienced lecturer, programme lead and content developer in the field of Early Childhood Education and is currently undertaking a PhD investigating the use of STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts & Maths) in her specialised sector.

Paula’s recently published book, Síolta in Practice: A Guide to Implementing Síolta Quality Standards in Early Childhood Education and Care, presents practical guidance for implementing the Síolta standards in this field and refers to any regulated arrangement that provides education and care for children from birth to compulsory primary school age. This book is aimed at current educators and managers working in the ECEC profession and for students who are studying ECEC in both further and higher education. 

Quality standards are a central component of best practice in the provision of early childhood education and care (ECEC). Paula’s book is written in an accessible, easy-to-understand style and this guide introduces the sixteen Síolta standards, explaining how to practically implement them within an early childhood setting.  It coherently links the theory of Síolta to everyday ECEC practice.

Paula said of the book,

“I see this book as a little bit like the driver theory handbook, but for early childhood education.  In order to “drive the car” of quality it is imperative that ECEC educators understand how to implement Síolta in their daily practice”. She added “I’m delighted with all the positive feedback so far for this book, with some even wondering why a practical guide like this hadn’t been written before!

Paula’s book simplifies and demystifies essential early childhood policies and initiatives, including The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services Regulations 2016), Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework, the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and much more, including Laura Lundy’s (2007) model of participation.

Paula is a TUFT scholar at DkIT under the supervision of Dr Bridget Kelly, Dr Caroline McDonnell and Dr Adèle Commins, researching STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths) in ECEC.


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