Artful Dodgers

Artful Dodgers, is an early years music and visual arts programme,  delivered in two community crèches in Fingal and engaging children aged three to five years.  Fingal County Council’s Arts Office, Fingal County Childcare Committee and artists Jackie Maguire (music) and Naomi Draper (visual arts) are delivering Artful Dodgers in partnership with the children and staff of Ros Éo Community Childcare Centre, Rush and Little Learners Crèche, Mulhuddart. The first phase of Artful Dodgers took the form of a twelve week artist in residency where both artists were located in both settings. The programme commenced in September 2013 and phase one finished mid-December 2013. The second phase of Artful Dodgers began in February 2014.  Phase two has a focus on co-mentoring between the crèche early years educators and both artists.  Reciprocal learning is valued and important to the overall success of programme. The programme organisers engaged a researcher, Lucie Corcoran, supported by the Arts Education Research Group at Trinity College Dublin to study the programme in detail and explore the following question in phase one: Does music and visual arts enhance children’s early literacy and numearcy skills? And in phase two explore the following key questions: Does Artful Dodgers as a model that includes ‘the experiential’ in Phase One and ‘co-mentoring’ in Phase Two, sustain arts practices in early years settings?  And Does this model of delivery qualify as CPD for the early years educators? The Artful Dodgers partnership includes Fingal County Council’s Arts Office, Fingal County Childcare Committee, Ros Eo Community Childcare Centre, Little Learners Creche, Artist Jackie Maguire, Artist Naomi Draper, and Trinity College Dublin.