News and events
Three research reports from the Children's Research Centre launched by Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald
Photo caption (from left to right): Ms Brigina Crowe, ELI. Dr Josephine Bleach, Director ELI; Ms Beth Fagan, ELI; Ms Catriona Flood, ELI; Dr Michelle Share, Children’s Research Centre (CRC); Ms Sandra McCarthy, CRC, Professor Sheila Greene, CRC, Ms Aoife O’ Gorman, ELI.
On 13 February 2013 three research reports from the Children's Research Centre (CRC) were launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald at large public event that took place at the National College of Ireland.
These reports were the culmination of a two-year baseline evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative (ELI) at the National College of Ireland (2009-2011). The study was funded by Pobal and was led by Dr Michelle Share, Acting Director and Senior Research Fellow, Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin in collaboration with Professor Sheila Greene and Ms Sandra McCarthy of the CRC.
One study examined the ELI's Stretch to Learn programme that takes place in seven Docklands primary schools. Baseline data was collected on contextual, socio-demographic, attitudinal and educational performance indicators. The study involved principals, 2nd and 6th class students, and parents.
A second study focused on the ELI's family home reading programme, the Parent Child Home Programme (PCHP) aimed at mothers and their toddlers living in the Docklands catchment area. The research, that took place over two years, examined the impact of involvement in the in PCHP for parents, children, and home visitors.
An overall report - Final Report of the Baseline Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative - examined the successes and challenges of the Early Learning Initiative in the context of its programme, capacity building, and sustainability.
Overall the study has resulted in four reports. The first report Developing Early Years Professionalism, a study of the ELI's professional development programme in community childcare centres (Share, Kerrins & Greene, 2011) was published and launched in May 2011.
All four reports are available for download on the links below:
- Early Years Professionalism: An Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative's Professional Development Programme in Community Childcare Centres in the Dublin Docklands
- Baseline evaluation of the Parent Child Home Programme
- The Early Learning Initiative's Stretch to Learn Programme: Baseline Evaluation in Primary Schools in the Dublin Docklands
- Baseline Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative: Final Report
19 February 2013
Public Seminar on 'Women and Homelessness in Ireland'
Dr Paula Mayock, Assistant Professor in Youth Research and Course Director, MSc in Applied Social Research Methods, and Ms. Sarah Sheridan, Research Assistant, Children's Research Centre, recently published two research papers from their study on "Women and Homelessness in Ireland." The papers were launched at a public seminar on 23 February 2012 in the Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. Nicholas Pleace, Senior Research Fellow from the Centre of Housing Policy, University of York travelled to Dublin to respond to the presentation and research papers. Susan McKay, writer, journalist and former director of the National Women's Council of Ireland chaired the event. Both the research papers and presentation are available to download here.
The Children's Research Centre Hosts Seminar on Young People, Food and Alternative Education and Care
On 23rd November 2011, the Children's Research Centre (CRC) hosted a seminar titled 'Young People, Food and Alternative Education and Care'. The seminar aimed to initiate wider debate on this issue, which has received little attention within the broader context of young people, food and eating. The seminar showcased Irish and UK research that considers food and nutrition issues for young people in alternative education and care settings. It provided an occasion to network, to progress debate and to inform policy and practice by bringing together individuals and organisations from a range of disciplines and sectors.
Professor Robbie Gilligan, School of Social Work and Social Policy, provided the opening address. Presentations from Ms Deirdre Byrne (Institute of Technology, Sligo) and Dr Ruth Emond (University of Stirling, Scotland) examined the use of food in care work within the residential care sectors in Ireland and Scotland.
Ms Marita Hennessy (CRC) provided an overview of research that is currently being undertaken at the CRC 'Early School Leavers and Nutrititon: A Needs Assessment' funded by safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board. This was followed by a presentation from Dr Michelle Share (CRC) who provided insight into food and health issues for young people with intellectual disabilities. A lively Q&A session ensued and, following lunch, discussion continued in the workshop groups.
Photo: (Left to Right) Dr Ruth Emond (Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Stirling); Ms Deirdre Byrne (IRCHSS Scholar, Institute of Technology, Sligo); Ms Marita Hennessy (Research Assistant, Children's Research Centre, TCD); Dr Michelle Share (Acting Director/ Senior Research Fellow, Children's Research Centre, TCD)
Launch of New GUI Report: Influences on 9-Year-Olds' Learning: Home, School and Community
On Thursday 26th January Growing Up in Ireland launched the latest report from the study, Growing Up in Ireland - Influences on 9-Year-Olds' Learning: Home, School and Community.
The report was launched jointly by Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, and Mr. Ruairi Quinn T.D., Minister for Education and Skills at 10.30am, Pearse Street Library, 138-144 Pearse St, Dublin 2.
Using data from the first wave of the 9-year-old cohort of the Growing Up in Ireland, this report looks at children's out-of-school activities and how these relate to the domains of family, school and neighbourhood. The report provides new information on the types of recreational activities engaged in by nine-year-old children and explores the relationship between their out-of-school lives and their academic performance at school. Policy implications are also discussed.
For more information on Growing Up in Ireland, click here
Professor Jonathan Bradshaw delivers Public Lecture on Child Poverty and Deprivation
On Thursday 8th December Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, Professor of Social Policy at the University of York, delivered a public lecture entitled 'Child Poverty and Deprivation in Comparative Perspective'.
Professor Bradshaw's public lecture began by providing an overview of poverty and deprivation rates among Irish children and highlighting how these children compared with counterparts from Europe and further afield. The lecture then went on to examine some characteristics of families with children experiencing poverty, including lone-parenting, large families and ‘workless’ households. Professor Bradshaw also took time to reflect upon our current definitions and measures of child poverty and deprivation and outlined difficulties with the use of proxy household informants and the arbitrary threshold employed when calculating relative or consistent rates of poverty. The lecture concluded with some suggested directions for future research before the speaker and audience engaged in a stimulating discussion on the key points.
To see a podcast on Professor Bradshaw's lecture, click here.
Growing Up in Ireland - Minister Launches New Findings from National Study of 11,100 Three-Year-Olds and their Families
On December 1st 2011, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, launched the first findings from Growing Up in Ireland: The Infant Cohort at 3 Years involving 11,100 three-year-olds and their parents.
The latest results from the study paint a picture of how these families are faring across a range of areas in their lives including their health, family life and financial and economic circumstances. In general the findings show that three-year-olds in Ireland are in good health with a few notable public health and related issues (including overweight and obesity), there is overall stability in family structures over the short term and that the recession has had a substantial effect on families with young children over the last number of years.
These are the first longitudinal findings from the study. The first wave of fieldwork with the families of the Infant Cohort included approximately 11,100 nine-month-olds, their parents and carers. Interviews began in September 2008 and were completed in March 2009. Interviews for the second round of interviews with this cohort took place between January and August 2011. A total of 90% of the original sample of nine-month-olds were successfully re-interviewed. (A full download of the results released today, presented in three briefing documents can be found by clicking here.)
To read more on the launch of the new findings, please click here.
Growing Up in Ireland Launch Report on Overweight and Obesity Among 9-Year-Old Children
Growing Up in Ireland has published a major new report from the study on overweight and obesity among childen in Ireland. The report was launched jointly by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D., and the Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly T.D., at an event in the Pearse Street Library, Dublin, on 9th November 20ll.
Growing Up in Ireland - Overweight and Obesity Among 9-Year-Olds examines patterns of overweight and obesity among children in Ireland, and associated factors including diet, exercise, child and parental recognition of the problem, and the influence of a child's weight status on his/her self-esteem. Policy implications are also discussed. A full copy of the report and the executive summary can be found here.
The Growing Up in Ireland Anonymised Microdata File (AMF) from Wave 1 of the Child Cohort (at 9 years) is available from the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA). Potential users wishing to access the anonymised data should apply to the ISSDA at http://www.ucd.ie/issda/data/growingupinireland
For more information on Growing Up in Ireland, please click here.
Photo: (Left to Right) Mary Doyle (Director General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs); Prof. Richard Layte (ESRI); Dr James Reilly, TD, Minister for Health; Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs; Prof. Frances Ruanne (ESRI); Dr Cathal McCrory (ESRI); Prof. James Williams (ESRI)
Professor Diane Levin Visits the Children's Research Centre
On 18th October 2011, the Children's Research Centre welcomed Diane Levin, Professor of Education at Wheelock College, Boston. Professor Levin is visiting Ireland with the support of the Irish Social Science Platform, of which Trinity College Dublin is a member.
Professor Levin is internationally recognised as a leader in the study of the commercialisation of childhood. She helps parents and professionals to understand and counteract the harmful effects of violence, war, media and commercial culture on children.
At the CRC, she spoke about her research to an interdisciplinary group that involved local childcare practitioners, researchers, the National Parents' Council (primary) and Barnardos. Her presentation focused on the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. She also visited Dáil Éireann as a guest of Aodhán O Riordáin, T.D.
Professor Levin is a founder of Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment (TRUCE) (www.truceteachers.org), an organisation that prepares materials to help parents deal with the media and commercial culture in their children's lives. She is also a founder of the Campagin for Commercial-Free Childhood (www.commercialfreechildhood.org) which works to educate the public about, and end, the commercial exploitation of children.
Photo: (Left to Right) Sandra McCarthy (CRC); Professor Diane Levin; Dr Michelle Share (CRC); Aine Lynch (National Parents' Council Primary); Dr Margaret Wachtler (CRC)