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Early Learning Initiative

The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) at the National College of Ireland (NCI) was developed to address the problem of educational underachievement in marginalised communities. Building upon tried and tested models of early years’ intervention, it is our mission to work with communities in areas of greatest need, to provide world-class parent and child learning support programmes.

Mission

Working in partnership with local communities to support educational journeys and achievements

Vision

Our long-term vision is that ELI will lead the way in providing first class educational support programmes within local communities, thereby enabling children, young people and their families to develop the dispositions, skills and knowledge needed to achieve their educational, career and life goals.

Core Beliefs

  • Parental well-being and close attachment to children enhances children’s emotional growth and learning ability. Parents are the first and best educators of their own children and play a pivotal role in children’s learning from birth.
  • Understanding of how children learn through exploration and play enables parents to provide an environment that facilitates their full cognitive development in a natural, relaxed and loving way.
  • The level of conversation and interaction between parent and child is a critical factor in extending a child’s vocabulary and cognitive and emotional development.
  • Imaginative and creative play should be the focus of the early learning environment.
  • The critical foundation of children’s ability to learn in school is laid before children enter the formal school system.
  • Involvement of parents in children’s learning in the home and childcare and school settings significantly enhances children’s progress.
  • Parents who have developed the skill and competence to help their children as learners at an early age will be motivated and encouraged to do so throughout the child’s school going years.
  • Specific reading and mathematical intervention programmes are a critical requirement to improve the educational attainment in marginalised communities.
  • A range of learning support systems delivered at the same time in a community can create an excitement and belief in education and improve educational attainment.
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