_0000154Foreword by Marian Phelan



I believe that we are in the midst of a historical revolution in our understanding young children. The first stage of that revolution began in 1997 with Early Brain Development-the realization that the Brain experiences explosive growth during the early years has become part of our thinking in Early Childhood Care & Development.

The 2nd Stage to emerge and only in the last 10 years-School Readiness-the realization that children do not enter school equally prepared to learn has shifted attention on early influences that account for these differences.

The third stage is now underway as I write- the growing realization of the depth and vulnerability of young children’s emotional lives. Early Childhood was always seen as a  period of carefree joy and delight but growing scientific evidence indicates otherwise. Young children can be depressed and can show signs of stress now challenges the traditional view of a carefree childhood. Today with our growing awareness of early social and emotional understanding these influences are transforming our thinking about young children and with practical consequences.

Research on developing brains and minds has changed the public conversation about Early Child Care/Education.


Neuroscientists have documented that our earliest days weeks and months of life are a period of unparallel growth when trillions of brain cells are connected. Researched demonstrated that health and development are directly influenced by the quality of care and experience a child receives at an early age.


The first 3 years of a life are a period of explosive growth in all areas of a child’s development.


Newborn brain is about 25% of its approximate weight.


By the age of 3 the brain has grown dramatically producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections or synapses between these cells.


What a child experiences in the first years of life profoundly influences how brain will develop and how the child will interact with the world at large.


At 9 months begins the process of becoming fully engaged members of society.


A newborn brain grows to about one quarter the size of an adults.


By the age of 3 it grows to about 80% of adult size.


By the age of 5 it grows to about 90% of an adults brain.

A lot of research has concluded that young children already



LEARN MORE than we would have ever thought possible in the past.

One of the biggest changes that has happened more recently is how amazingly much babies know from the time they are born so far from being a blank slate even the youngest of babies already seem to have some basic ideas about other people, about language, about the physical world around.

As our society becomes even more technically and socially complex we cannot afford to continue to allow large numbers of children to miss out on the positive experiences they need in infancy and early childhood the costs in terms of lost intellectual potential and increased rates of emotional and behavioural problems are far too high…

Now development in brain research shows us what children need.

Our challenge at the Irish School Cairo is to ensure they get it.

I will conclude with the following

The Eminent Statesman Nelson Mandela who expressed a great truism when he said:

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor that the son of a mine worker can become the head of a mine, that the child of a farm worker can become the President of a great nation. It is what we make of what we have, not what we are given separates us from one another. EDUCATION IS THE


The famous Japanese violin Teacher & Educationalist Shinichi SUZUKI once said “The destiny of children lies in the hands of their parents”. I too believe that the direction and the quality of this destiny are largely determinated by parents in the first seven years of a child’s life.

I believe my role as an Educator is to support good parenting skills to highlight the vital role parents play in providing the nurturing and stimulation that children require. A new understanding of how much infants are taking in and processing about others raises compelling questions about how parents / carers influence children’s psychological development. On a broader and more significant level according  to experts the discoveries of psychological understanding in the early years of life provide a foundation for the skills of social problem solving of later adulthood, co-operation with other people and most importantly to enable them to navigate the complex world of human interaction in order to fully participate as a member of a cultural community.

Now development in brain research shows us what children need.

Our challenge at the Irish School Cairo is to ensure they get it.

I hope your visit to our website will be a useful source of information for parents who are considering enrolling their child. I believe that the Irish School is an option worth considering. I look forward to welcoming you.

Educate a child you Educate the entire village

Education Education Education

A new state of the art childcare facility will open in New Cairo this September 2015!

English / French
6 months - 4 years