QUALITY AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE IN FERMOY
Blackwater Childcare was born out of the great need for more childcare facilities to serve the growing population of Fermoy. The state of the art facility at Rathcarrig, is of a modern design and an investment into the future for an ever-expanding population. It offers quality and affordable full time and part time childcare and caters mainly, but not exclusively, for the families housed in the Rathcarrig Estate on Pike Road, on the outskirts of Fermoy.
As you walk into Blackwater Childcare friendly and helpful staff greet you and you get a warm feeling inside despite the stormy weather It feels like a home away from home, a safe and cosy place to leave your child in for the day, knowing that he/she is well cared for. You want the best for your child and Blackwater has the best to offer.
It all started more than five years ago when Peggy Kearney and The Young Mothers’ Group set out to research if there was a need for such a facility. It was deemed necessary, so they proceeded in trying to get funding from the Government. It was a painstaking process, but well worth it in the end.
Speaking after the official opening by the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Tom Sheahan, Peggy Kearney reminded the assembled guests that this was an historic occasion for the Fermoy community and for Fermoy Mothers’ Group. This community group was established at the resource centre in 1992, was funded by the department to provide a variety of training and educational opportunities for the mothers.
In 2003, the group undertook training in management skills to equip them for creche management. Ms Keaney said that the creche which opened for service in October, 2007, operates within the Equal Opportunity ethos which requires that every child attending the creche is guaranteed equality of service and treatment. She concluded with the message: ‘Parents of Fermoy, your child will be safe in competent hands here’.
The facility speaks for itself. The walls are adorned with bright coloured drawings made by the 43 children who are in the care of the centre at the minute. There are three rooms: one for babies and toddlers, one for preschool children and one for after school care. In addition to these there is a completely equipped kitchen, a training room for staff, separate playgrounds for toddlers and older kids and toilet facilities. The rooms are neat, the safety regulations are abided by and the children who meander around the place look happy and comfortable.
Judy Baker is the chairperson of Blackwater Childcare. “This is the first community childcare facility for babies to 12 years olds in Fermoy,” she says.
Just like all the personnel involved in this initiative, she put her heart and soul into it. Being a non-profit organisation, the money it earns goes back into the facility. The manager of this impressive venture, Miriam Collins says a number of fundraising activities will be held in the future to help with the general running of the facility.
The Government grants received have contributed greatly to the birth of this facility. There are quarterly audits from the Government to make sure all the expectations and regulations are being met. More improvements are on the way and as soon as all the criteria is met, Blackwater has a very good chance of becoming a ‘centre of excellence’.
The facility can cater for 52 children, including children with disabilities. It is open 50 weeks per year, Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm, closing for one week at Easter and one week at Christmas. It offers both full-time and part-time care at the moment, the part time option being the most popular one. The centre also offers two pre-school sessions morning and afternoon, 9am to 12pm and 1.30 to 4.30pm as well as an after-school session from 2-6pm.
The children enrolled in the after school session do homework, have playtime and computer time while being monitored by fully qualified staff. The plan includes making summer camps available. Blackwater Childcare aims to be a ‘High Scope’ centre that meets the needs of children and parents.
The High Scope method of teaching encourages children to actively pursue their own learning, it helps children to become independent decision makers and problem solvers, it promotes active learning through play. The centre also has a healthy eating policy - biscuits, crisps, sweets, chocolate and soft drinks are not allowed.
Blackwater Childcare promotes a healthy lifestyle, one more way to get a good head start in life for your children. Applications for all sessions are being accepted at the moment. For further enquiries you can contact Miriam Collins at 025-82761.
Thursday 13th March 7:03pm