A working group has been formed to explore the possibility of establishing a professional body for Early Childhood Education and Care.

The working group is made up of representatives from the Association of Childhood Professionals, SIPTU, and PLÉ, the Irish Association of Academics in Early Childhood Education and Care in Higher Education.

Marion Quinn, ACP chairperson, said the collaboration will harness expertise from all elements of the Early Childhood Education and Care profession, to inform and influence policy and practice, from inception to implementation.

"One of the main roles of our professional body is to be the collective, articulate and dedicated voice of 'a profession, thinking and speaking for itself' as Professor Urban from DCU Early Childhood Research Centre has called it". 

Dr Mary Moloney, PLÉ chairperson, said the formation of the professional body is a timely move. "Early Childhood Education and Care as a profession requires recognition and self- governance like any other established profession." 

"Each of our three organisations represents a significant part of the workforce. Coming together to form a professional body will support having a collective voice and shared professional identity among all those working in Early Childhood Education and Care. It will facilitate our involvement in the development of policy, and of standards and a code of ethics for professional practice."