The movement babies experience by lying on the floor, waving their arms and legs in the air, is essential to their development. Photograph: Thinkstock

It’s endearing the way newborn babies fling their arms out when somebody closes a door too loudly, in what is known as the “startle” reflex. And th(...)

Early Childhood Ireland, which represents service providers in the childcare sector, has said the  use of primary school buildings as a low-cost solution for childcare would amount to a “band aid approach” to a serious capacity problem. File photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The use of primary school buildings as a low-cost solution for childcare would amount to a “band aid approach” to a serious capacity problem, accordin(...)

Nature’s way: The refurbished playground in Merrion Square, Dublin, which is inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story The Selfish Giant

Swings and roundabouts: What playground do you favour, and why? Email swayman@irishtimes.com or comment on the article below. We hope to publish a (...)

Michelle Igoe with her children Aoibhinn (4), Caitlin (2), Alex (9 months) and Robert (6) at their home in Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It’s summertime and the kids aren’t in creches, but parents are still paying for them. Childcare facilities often close for a two-week summer holid(...)

Early Childhood Ireland is pressing for funding to be provided to make sure changes announced by Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald come into effect. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The next Budget must mark a turning point in State support for services for pre-school children, the Coalition has been told. Early Childhood Ireland (...)

 Dr Stuart Brown at play: ‘It is probably no coincidence that humans are the most playful of all species. While the drive to play in adulthood is diminished, it does not disappear.’
The power of play

Everybody in the Dún Laoghaire shoe shop looked around as peals of delighted laughter rang out from a small boy posing with his big brother in front o(...)

Stephanie Gratton, owner of the Crescent Creche in Monkstown, Dublin, with Gus Murphy (3), Harry Fuller (3) and Jamie White (4). Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Sickening scenes of little children being flipped over like rag dolls, toddlers trying to walk while strapped to chairs and vulnerable tots being swor(...)

The body representing childcare providers has said it is “outrageous” for personal information on staff to be posted online as part of the publication(...)