ClapHandies follows the Aistear Early Childhood Curriculum Framework developed by the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and assessment)


ClapHandies is committed to providing high-quality early childhood education to our babies and toddlers. As part of this commitment, the company has developed the PlayLabs following the principles of Aistear into its classes.

Aistear (the Irish word for journey) is a curriculum framework for early childhood education in Ireland. It was developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and was first published in 2009. Aistear is designed to guide early childhood educators in providing high-quality learning experiences for children from birth to six years of age.

The word "Aistear" is an Irish word that means "journey" or "pathway," reflecting the idea that early childhood is a journey of learning and discovery. Aistear is based on the belief that young children learn best through play, exploration, and social interaction. It provides a flexible and adaptable framework that promotes a holistic approach to education, taking into account all aspects of a child's development, including cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.

Aistear celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold. It is underpinned by 12 interconnecting principles presented in 3 groups:

  • Children and their lives in early childhood
  • Children’s connections with others
  • How children learn and develop

Each principle is presented using a short statement. This is followed by an explanation of the principle from the child’s perspective. This explanation highlights the adult’s role in supporting children’s early learning and development. The framework uses the following inter connectedly to describe children’s learning and development:

  • Well-being
  • Identity and Belonging
  • Communicating
  • Exploring and Thinking

They describe what children learn—the dispositions, attitudes and values, skills, knowledge, and understanding. Each one includes aims and broad learning goals for all children. The aims and goals outline the dispositions, values and attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding that the adult nurtures in children to help them learn and develop.

For more information on Aistear visit

To view the Aistear Curriculum click here.