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Better Start National Early Years Quality Development is a national initiative of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) collaborating with the Early Years Education Policy Unit of the Department of Education and Skills (DES), to ensure a coordinated approach to early years quality in Ireland.


The Better Start Quality Development Service is an additional resource to support and drive quality improvement. It provides a highly skilled and experienced Early Years Specialist team to work directly in a mentoring capacity with Early Years services. Requests for the service can be made through Dún Laoghaire Rathdown CCC.  Early Years Specialists will be allocated to ECEC services on the basis of availability, skills and experience, as far as possible matching the service profile.


Service Criteria and Priorities

The Better Start programme is currently priortising servcies that wish to join the programme based on the following criteria (December 2015):


  1. Services catering for 20 full and/or part-time children with at least 40 children overall
  2. Group or chain providers with services under the same ownership
  3. Better Start also retain flexibility to respond to requests from services for support in exceptional circumstances. Sample reasons for why a service might be eligible for special consideration for support could include one or a combination of the following;
    • Inspection issues
    • Access to quality support has been very limited
    • A combination of factors such as location of service, high levels of disadvantage, rural isolation or the needs of children
    • Significant staff turnover


If your service would like to join this programme please contact us at DLRCCC for more information.

Better Start Homepage