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Activities

 

Evaluation

 


A national evaluation of the ABC Programme is underway. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the impact of the ABC Programme nationally. Data is being collected locally on outcomes for children and parents using a shared measurement framework. Common measures are being used across all ABC areas on outcomes and implementation processes.

The evaluation aims to answer the following three key questions:
•    How did the outcomes for children and families in ABC areas change?
•    To what extent did the ABC Programme make progress in implementing evidence-informed programmes and approaches in the ABC areas?
•    What were the costs of services provided under the ABC Programme?

The evaluation has been designed and managed by the Centre for Effective Services. Reports on the emerging findings will be provided to each area on a regular basis with the final evaluation report to be completed in 2018.

Mainstreaming

 

DCYA has established a ‘mainstreaming the learning’ group to examine how learning from the ABC programme, previous prevention and early intervention programmes and other related initiatives can be ‘mainstreamed’ (i.e. become normal practice) in relevant policy and practice domains, with a view to addressing child poverty and improving children’s lives throughout Ireland.

 

ABC Learning Community
 

 
The ABC Learning Community provides opportunities for ABC areas and all stakeholders in the ABC Programme to share learning, knowledge and practice, and to support one another to deliver effective and integrated services.
The ABC Learning Community aims to:
•    Connect individuals, agencies and organisations within and across ABC areas
•    Provide a forum for information sharing, peer support and self-reflection
•    Disseminate collective learning from the ABC Programme and influence national policy and practice

Learning Community events are structured around themes that are important for the ongoing development of the ABC Programme. Themes explored to date include oral language, leveraging funding, and quality early years practice.


On February 17th 2016, an Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme event was held in Dublin Castle, entitled Early Years: Driving Quality and Challenging Poverty, an ABC Practice to Policy Event. The event was the fourth in a series of events in the ABC Learning Community, which is a platform for areas and stakeholders in the ABC programme to share learning, knowledge and practice. The event comprised of keynote speakers, a panel discussion, afternoon workshop sessions and a closing plenary. It considered the need to enhance and empower the Early Years sector in Ireland, with equal attention to quality, sustainability and development issues. There were over 100 attendees, including staff and representatives from ABC areas, as well as a wide range of stakeholders from across the policy, research and practice spectrum. This report captures and shares the learning from the event proceedings.  You can find a link to a report on the event here.

Review of Oral Language Development


Supporting oral language development is a key area of work across a number of ABC areas. Speech and language skills are fundamental to learning, development and communication and predict educational success later in life.


The Centre for Effective Services produced a report examining effective approaches for supporting oral language development in the early years for children in areas of social disadvantage to inform the work of ABC areas. The report considers the best available evidence on how to organise and deliver services to achieve better language outcomes and is available for download in the publications section.
On February 17th 2016, an Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme event was held in Dublin Castle, entitled Early Years: Driving Quality and Challenging Poverty, an ABC Practice to Policy Event. The event was the fourth in a series of events in the ABC Learning Community, which is a platform for areas and stakeholders in the ABC programme to share learning, knowledge and practice. The event comprised of keynote speakers, a panel discussion, afternoon workshop sessions and a closing plenary. It considered the need to enhance and empower the Early Years sector in Ireland, with equal attention to quality, sustainability and development issues. There were over 100 attendees, including staff and representatives from ABC areas, as well as a wide range of stakeholders from across the policy, research and practice spectrum. This report captures and shares the learning from the event proceedings.  You can find a link to a report on the event here.

follow us on twitter skills to work Supporting SMEs http://whodoeswhat.gov.ie/ Be Winter Ready The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme