Early Start is a scheme implemented by the Dept. Of Education to help children to prepare for and adjust to mainstream education. It was meant as a pilot scheme to give children a step up before they started school. The Early Start is staffed by a teacher and a childcare worker.
Early Start is about discovery, creativity and developing a love of education which hopefully will last a life-time. Past pupils of Early Start themselves will tell you about the fun and fond memories they have from their time there.
How long has Early Start been in Scoil Cholmcille Junior?
Early Start began in Scoil Cholmcille Junior in 1996 with Mrs. Henihan as the class teacher and Áine Crawford, the Childcare Worker. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength. Every year we welcome back our past pupils as parents and their children as second generation participants.
What will my child be doing in Early Start?
Your child will be gently introduced to the school and will become familiar with the layout of the school.
They will become used to the school day and a timetable.
Your child will make new friends and learn to socialise and play nicely with others.
Your child will learn to share and communicate using their words in full sentences.
Your child will be introduced to things that they will be learning in Junior Infants such as numbers and counting, books and reading, things that are big and small, near and far, etc.
Your child will be encouraged to think about things for themselves and figure problems out on their own, thus enabling them to grow in independence.
Your child will learn about how to make big and small movements which help with their balance, co-ordination and pencil grip.
Your child will experiment with different materials/objects and discover for themselves how something works or doesn’t work.
Later in the year, they will meet children in Junior Infants. This will give your child the chance to make new friends and get to know some familiar faces to look out for on the yard for when they attend Junior Infants the following year.
What role do parents play in Early Start?
Parental involvement is one of the core elements of the programme in recognition of the parent/guardian as the prime educator of the child and to encourage the parent/guardian to become involved in his/her child's education.
Parents take part in their child’s education in a school setting through various activities during the year, which the children love as they want to show Mum and Dad and other members of the family what they have done in school.
Check out some of the pictures on the Early Start page to see how Parents have been involved so far this year.
How do I enroll my child in Early Start for September 2018?
If you would like to enroll your child for Early Start, please come to the school and ask our School Secretary Ms. Burns for the relevant forms.
Is there anything else I need to know before enrolling my child in Early Start?
Early Start is a valuable resource to the Community and it’s free under the Early Start scheme.
Children aged between the ages of 3 years to 4 years and 6 months in September of the relevant year are entitled to a free pre-school year, the year before they start primary school.