Better Start

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.

It encompasses the broad suite of quality supports provided under DCYA through City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and Voluntary Childcare Organisations to the Early Years Education and Care (ECEC) providers throughout the country, to enable them to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children they serve.

The City and County Childcare Committees roles include childcare funding programme support, identification of local support needs, provision of local support, commissioning of local support and liaison with the Quality Development Service. They are the first point of contact locally to source quality support opportunities. Contact details for your local CCC are:

Tipperary Childcare Committee 062-64200 or

Voluntary childcare organisations offer a range of quality development supports also funded through DCYA.

These include: training and mentoring; information and advice; evidence based research and innovation; print and online publications and practice resources as well as specific membership benefits to groups of early years providers. Contact details for VCOs are included below.

The Better Start Quality Development Service

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, complementing and adding to other quality resources such as training, CPD programmes, networking, cluster type support groups and individual or team based development work.

The Quality Development Service will operate on a national, rather than regional or county basis. Requests for the service can be made through your local CCC and will be processed centrally.  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.