Ceann Comhairle, Sean O'Fearghail with Josephine Ryan and guests. Picture: Tony Keane
The new Gatelodge Childcare facility in Newbridge was officially opened by Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghail on November 18.
The building is situated on the fringe of the Curragh Plains, at the entrance to Gaelscoil Chill Dara and Newbridge Educate Together National School.
“Services include childcare for school age children from 7am, and until 7pm, and Early Years Education for preschool aged children,” said owner Josephine Ryan.
“The Gatelodge is of vernacular interest and well known locally, it has undergone many months of refurbishment, is over 100 years old, boasting the elegance and charm of the Edwardian period.”
The proprietor, who is originally from east Limerick, has lived in Newbridge for 12 years, and is not new to the childcare industry, having previously owned two facilities in south Dublin. She also runs an online babysitting booking service, minderfinders.ie.
“Having been out of Early Years services for many years, I can see much change in the sector, the introduction of Túsla and the reformation of regulations and early years curriculums, has brought about many positive changes, which will benefit all children, as every child is now entitled to two free preschool years,” she said.
She said the before and after school services will offer working parents more flexibility as children can be dropped in from 7am.
They will be accompanied to school by a member of staff.
Children will also be collected from school at the end of their day, and will be cared for, facilitated to do their homework, and have a range of free choice activities to choose from to keep them entertained until their parents can collect them.
She said they will also have the option of a hot meal in the afternoon.
There was a good turnout for the official opening.