Early Years

Training Providers in Belfast

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6c Wildflower Way
County Antrim
BT12 6TA

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Contact Numbers


Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm

Saturday to Sunday: Closed

Key Services

Childcare Northern Ireland, early education, Training and support


About Early Years - the organisation for young children

Early Years is the largest organisation in Northern Ireland working with and for young children. We are a non-profit making organisation and have been working since 1965 to promote high quality childcare for children aged 0 - 12 and their families. Early Years is a membership-based organisation, a registered charity, a company limited by guarantee and is governed by a Board of Directors.

Currently Early Years provides information and training for parents, childcare providers, employers and local authorities.

Mission Statement: To promote and develop high quality, evidence-informed early childhood services for young children, their families and communities.

Early Years Training

Early Years delivers a wide range of in-service programmes that continue our drive to improve practice by applying an appropriate play based curriculum. Our training is for parents, all adults working with young children in pre-school settings, daycares, SureStart, nursery and foundation stage and management committees.

All of our training helps develop the confidence and competence of the participants in the understanding of play and the needs of young children across the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors. Training programmes and materials are reviewed annually and are based on evidence from research and best practice to deliver outcomes for young children.

For more information on dates of courses or to discuss programme contents, contact the training department on +44 (0)28 6634 2696 or email: training@early-years.org Places on courses are strictly limited so early booking is advisable.

Bespoke programmes can be arranged on request. Programmes can also be delivered outside of Northern Ireland.

Choosing Childcare and Early Education - App for Parents

Early Years recognises the importance of keeping pace with innovative trends which are aimed at supporting parents and improving access to childcare and early education providers.

The app features:

- Map search for local childcare providers by area.
- Manual search for providers by name, address or postcode.
- Access to contact details of all childcare and early education providers registered with the Health and Social Care Trusts.
- Directions to settings.
- Ability to view available Education and Training Inspectorate inspection reports of settings.
- Email facility to share settings' information with friends and family.
- A parent zone with helpful resources and guidance on choosing childcare and early education providers, best practice and settling in information.
- A favourites section, which can be organised as a ‘visit list' for users to save and visit preferred settings.
- Links to various organisations' websites for further reading.

Download the iPhone or Android version of the app or access the web version for free here >> http://www.early-years.org/mobileapp/index.php

Room Hire

Early Years offer facilities to accommodate training, conferences and meetings. Our rates are competitive with those of hotels or conference venues.

There are three different locations to choose from Belfast, North West and Fermanagh. All rooms can be configured in a number of different formations to suit your requirements:
1. Belfast
2. North West
3. Fermanagh

For more information and pricing please visit www.early-years.org/about-us/room-hire.php

The Family Health Initiative Programme "Healthier Choices, Healthier Families"

The Family Health Initiative Programme "Healthier Choices, Healthier Families" has been developed through a multi-team participatory process, facilitated by Early Years – the organisation for young children through funding from the European Union's INTERREG IVA programme from March 2011- March 2013. Further funding has been secured from the PHA (Public Health Agency) from April 2013 - March 2014.

The prevention programme (under fives) has been designed to run over eight weeks, with follow-ups in weeks 16 and 36.

The management programme (8-11 year olds) has been designed to run over ten weeks, with follow-ups in weeks 16, 24, 36 and 48.

For more information on the programme please visit www.early-years.org/health/

Committee Management

Early Years' work has always been underpinned by a strong community development ethos focused on helping communities to assess the need for, develop and manage their own Early Years setting.

The Community Development team aim to provide training and support to the Early Years sector, parents and communities, to build capacity by using the key principles and practices of community development.

For more information view www.early-years.org/committee-mgt/

Early Years Bookstore

Purchase resources today from www.early-years.org/bookstore/index.php

Early Years Specialist Service

Early Years has a team of locally based Early Years Specialists and Development Workers who provide ongoing support and advice to playgroups, day cares, créches, parent and toddler groups and after school groups on an individual, group or peer network basis.

The team assists providers in assessing their needs through self-evaluation programmes, planning, implementing and managing all aspects of high quality service provision in Early Years Care and Education.

Find out more information today at www.early-years.org/eys/

HighScope Ireland Institute

HighScope Ireland is based in Belfast at Early Years - the organisation for young children. The Institute is one of several HighScope Institutes throughout the world. It is accountable to the HighScope Educational Research Foundation based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA.

HighScope is a quality approach to early childhood care and education which has been shaped and developed by research and practice over a forty year period. It identifies and builds on children's strengths, interests and abilities.

The HighScope curriculum is used internationally in a variety of settings including day care, créches, playgroups, nursery and primary schools.

The central belief of the HighScope approach is that children construct their own learning by doing and being involved in working with materials, people and ideas.

For further information visit www.early-years.org/highscope/index.php

Media Initiative for Children Respecting Difference Programme

Media Initiative for Children Respecting Difference Programme was developed by Early Years - the organisation for young children (formerly known as NIPPA) in Northern Ireland and Pii the Peace Initiatives Institute in the USA. It combines cartoon media messages around diversity with an early years programme. Together they aim to promote positive attitudes to physical, social and cultural differences amongst young children, practitioners and parents. The messages also address bullying behaviours.

The cartoons are set in a play park and feature characters young children can easily identify with. The messages in the cartoons are reinforced in the early years setting through the use of resources and interactive activities that prompt children to talk about their feelings and attitudes to the issues explored in the cartoons.

View the cartoons and more information here www.early-years.org/mifc/

Early Years role in SureStart

Early Years play a key role in a number of the SureStart throughout Northern Ireland projects by:
- Acting as employer
- Providing Lead and / or Accountable Body services
- Chairing meetings
- Providing strategic direction to projects
- Providing expert early years advice and support
- Providing access to evidence based practice for practitioners
- Ensuring high quality practice
- Ensuring consistency across those projects where Early Years are involved

SureStart is a government led initiative aimed at giving every child the best possible start in life and which offers a broad range of services focusing on Family Health, Early Years Care and Education and Improved Well Being Programmes to children aged 4 and under.

At present Early Years employs over 80 staff in seven projects across Northern Ireland. These include Splash, Clogher Valley, South Armagh, Dungannon, Rainbow, Blossom and Arke SureStarts.

View the projects and contact details here www.early-years.org/surestart/contact.php


In partnership with children and parents, Toybox provides a rights-based outreach service for Traveller children aged 0-4 aimed at tackling inequalities in Traveller education.

The project is core funded by the Department of Education and is delivered by nine staff to eight areas across Northern Ireland. Toybox uses a rights-based service development model to significantly reduce the social and education inequalities experienced by young Traveller children through an outreach play-based early intervention service provided in partnership with children and parents.


Website of the Sesame Tree Outreach Project

In Northern Ireland the local Sesame Street programme, Sesame Tree, is a powerful vehicle for addressing issues of diversity, reconciliation, mutual respect, empathy, and perspective taking. Sesame Tree, launched in 2008 on BBC NI and CBeebies, includes live action films capturing depictions of daily life circumstances, presenting real children in meaningful activities, thereby humanising the face of the “other" and fostering positive community relations.

With the endearing antics of the series own Muppet characters, the project successfully engages young children while addressing important messages about positive resolution of conflict, mutual respect and appreciation of similarities and differences.

View the project here http://www.early-years.org/sesame-tree/

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Products and Services

Choosing Childcare and Early Education App

Choosing Childcare and Early Education app for parents. Early Years recognises the importance of keeping pace with innovative trends www.early-years.org/mobileapp/index.php

Price: Free

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