About Us

Early Years is the largest organisation in Northern Ireland working with and for young children. We are a non-profit making organisation and have been working since 1965 to promote high quality childcare for children aged 0 - 12 and their families. Early Years is a membership-based organisation, a registered charity, a company limited by guarantee and is governed by a Board of Directors.

On 1st November 2007 we changed our name to Early Years - the organisation for young children. When we started our work in 1965 NIPPA stood for Northern Ireland Pre-School Playgroup Association, but as our work developed we realised that this did not fully reflect all that we do so we changed our name to NIPPA - the early years organisation. In 2005 we realised that our work had moved on again and after consultation with members and stakeholders we voted to change our name to Early Years - the organisation for young children.

Currently Early Years provides information and training for parents, childcare providers, employers and local authorities. We hope this website will help you to find out more about early childcare and education.

Mission Statement

To promote and develop high quality, evidence-informed early childhood services for young children, their families and communities.

Our Vision

Children are:

  • Strong, competent and visible in their communities
  • Physically and emotionally healthy
  • Eager and able to learn
  • Respectful of difference
  • Children grow up in a peaceful, prosperous and shared region

Our Values

We believe in:

  • Childhood - in its own right
  • Listening to children – and those who care for them
  • A strong voice for children
  • Play, fun and creativity

  • Parents as first educators
  • Participation of children and families
  • Community involvement and development
  • Partnership
  • Inclusion and diversity

  • Excellence and evidence-based innovation
  • Effective stewardship and governance
  • A professional, committed and recognised workforce
  • Valuing staff, members and their commitment
Gold Steps to Excellence Logo