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Increase in number of Irish language Pre-schools

June 28, 2011

The number of Naíonraí or Irish language pre-schools in  Ireland has dramatically increased over the past few years. At the moment there are many vacancies available in this field and many opportunities have arisen working in naíonraí all over the country in places such as Offaly, Kilkenny, Co. Kildare, Dublin, Tralee and Wicklow.

A naíonra is a playgroup for children who come together daily in a pleasant, cheerful and safe environment, under the guidance and supervision of a Naíonra Leader. It is run solely through the medium of Irish.

A significant amount of naíonraí have opened around the country in the past two years. In 2009 five new naíonraí opened, last year seventeen new naíonraí opened and this years it is expected that over twenty new naíonraí will be opened by September in towns and villages around Ireland.

Speaking about  the huge increase in the number of newly established naíonraí which have opened in recent years the Development Officer with Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta Seán Ó hAdhmaill says that there were two main reasons for this increase in new naíonraí being opened in recent times.

He attributes much of that increase to the the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme which was introduced in January last year along with changes in the recruitment of Naíonraí Directors.
Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta, (FNT) which is an all-Ireland voluntary organisation that supports the promotion of education and care services in Irish for children from birth welcomed these two significant changes.
The Early Childhood Care and Education scheme (ECCE scheme) assists parents who wish to send their child/children to play-school or naíonraí for a year free of change. This scheme is aimed at children who would be attending primary school the following year.

This new scheme created a demand in pre-schools and naíonraí and opened a new window of opportunity for naíonraí in towns and villages all over Ireland.

Under recent changes to recruitment practices, all applicants who are undertaking an interview to become a Naíonra Director must now undergo an Irish language interview, therefore the standard of Irish in the naíonraí is at a very high level.

In recent years there have been more opportunities to establish a naíonra in various areas around the country. Some naíonraí grew from demand in areas which have Gaelscoileanna as some Gaelscoileanna require that new pupils entering their school have previously attended a naíonra and have a sufficient level of Irish.  This leaves a greater demand for naíonraí as more and more people wish to educate their children through the medium of Irish.

For further information on naíonraí and and employment opportunities in the sector on Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta: www.naionrai.ie.

© Gaelport.com 28 Meitheamh 2011