Published 01.08.2023
by Kids’ Own

Kids’ Own is part of new pilot programme: the Arts in Early Learning & Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) scheme

We are delighted to be part of a new pilot programme run by The Arts Council and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY. )  This exciting new scheme, the Arts in Early Learning & Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) scheme aims to support professional artists and arts organisations working with Early Learning & Care and School Age Childcare settings. Kids’ Own is one of four children’s arts organisations/artists to be part of this exciting pilot.

This project is all about exploring and developing how artists and educators work together, as well as thinking about the recently published Draft Principles for Engagement with the Arts in Early Learning and Care (DCEDIY 2023).  We are exploring the most important elements for artists to consider when working with young children and their educators, and sharing what we learn with the rest of the arts organisations and artists participating in the pilot.

Photo Credit : Anna Leask

As part of the pilot, our associate artists Maree Hensey and Naomi Draper have been working together in two brilliant Early Learning and Care settings, Inspiring Minds in Sligo Town and Farmyard Miniworld in Ballintogher. Maree and Naomi spent a number of weeks in each setting, working collaboratively with the children and educators, and presenting the children with invitations to participate and engage with different materials and processes. Throughout the project, creating the space to hear, listen to, and respond to children’s voices, and all the different ways young children might communicate, was really central.

Project artists Maree and Naomi have a shared belief in the need to bring the most important elements of their own practice as visual artists to their work with early years children. For Maree, her practice focuses on  “repetitive, meditative and immersive experience…slowing down, paring back”. Naomi is interested in “other people’s sense of wonder, the energy of curiosity, the draw towards the unknown and how we how we encourage, enable, protect and value this way of being”.

We are looking forward to seeing this project develop and to share it with you all along the way!