AGE GROUP: 3.5 to 5 years
RATIO: 1:11 during ECCE Session (9:00am – 12:00) ; 1:10 out of ECCE Session (12:00– 1:30pm)
LOCATION: Second floor, KCCC
ROOM LEADER: Claire Shaughnessy
Educare is part of the free preschool (ECCE) program and is typically undertaken the year prior to commencement at national school. Parents may choose between Montessori or Educare in this final year before formal schooling begins. Read more about our Educare program below.
What happens in a typical Educare session?
Children arrive at 9 am. They settle in, hang up their coats, put their lunch in the fridge and then enjoy free play until 9.20 am. Then it’s tidy up time, hand washing and the AM snack at 9:30 am. The Centre provides a fresh fruit snack for the children who stay a full day; children who stay a half day (until 1:30 pm) or until the session finishes at 12pm bring their own healthy snack to eat. When snack time is finished the children pack away their belongings and we commence our planned activity, which runs between 10.15am to 10.45 pm. After activity time the children get ready to go outside, from 11.00am to 11.30am. Afterwards, we go inside, and children wash their hands and we enjoy Circle Time and Story Time. Sessional Educare (the ECCE free preschool session) finishes at 12:00 pm. Half day and full day children now eat a healthy dinner prepared by our resident chef. At 1:30pm, our half day children go home while our full day children enjoy free play, activities and more outdoor time during the afternoon.
What will my child learn in Educare?
In Educare, children learn based on the Aistear curriculum, Ireland’s early childhood curriculum framework for all children from birth to six years. Curriculum is everything that the children in our care are exposed to when they enter our Educare room i.e. the environment, planned and unplanned activities, relationships, resources, routine and so forth. We have incorporated elements into our curriculum that we believe to be most valuable for children to experience in an early years educational setting. One of our main goals is providing a warm, safe and prepared environment for the children. We also place great emphasis on establishing and maintaining warm and supportive relationships not just with the children but also with parents and guardians. We endeavour to provide a child centred curriculum which aims to meet all the needs of the children. We ensure that there is a balance between both child initiated and adult initiated activities allowing the children to be active learners as we know this is when they learn best. A very important factor which we include in our curriculum is placing importance of process over the product….the journey the child experiences is of far greater importance then the product that they create in the end. Our Curriculum is centred around play, play is a child’s work and it is through play and fun that they learn and grow.
- Sensory exploration-sand, water, rice, flour, compost
- Musical activities, dancing, musical instruments
- Story time
- Circle time
- Physical-Outdoor play
- Free play
- Dress up
- Creative-drawing/colouring/painting/gluing/play dough/clay modelling
- Arts n’ Crafts
- Fine motor activities-jigsaws/puzzles/beading
- Higher order thinking activities-matching/sorting/board grames
- Pretend-home corner/make believe/hair dresser corner/mechanic station
- Identity and belonging activities
How does the Educare team communicate with parents and guardians?
At every arrival and departure time we make sure we talk to parents and guardians, discussing general Educare room issues and also any specific child related issues which may occur. In situations where we do not get to see the parents as their child is going to another room we always ring the parents to inform or discuss with them any issues which have arisen. We always make sure that parents are up to date with their child’s development in the Educare room. The introduction of Child Path in the near future will provide another valuable communication channel for parents and staff.
What should I send to Educare with my child?
- a change of clothes
- a small snack if your child finishes at 12 noon or 1.30pm
- a completed registration form (detailing any specific dietary or medical issues/requirements and emergency contact numbers)
How do I apply for a space?
To learn more about choosing a preschool program for your child you should first read our section entitled "Montessori or Educare: which preschool program is right for your child?" Click here to read more.
Educare runs one ECCE morning session between 9am and 12noon, Monday to Friday during school terms. There is the option for your child to enrol in a half day (morning session 7.30am - 1.30pm OR afternoon session 1.30pm to 6.30pm) or full days (7.30am - 6.30pm), however fees are payable for additional hours as the ECCE program only covers one, three hour Educare session each day. For full terms and conditions please refer to the Centre’s Parent Handbook.
To apply for a space for your child complete the application form and contact the Centre Manager. Please note once your place at the Centre and commencement date has been confirmed that payment must be arranged in advance from the date of commencement. Unfortunately, due to extensive waiting lists, we are not able to hold your place if you change your mind, without payment to cover the period between your KCCC offered starting date and your actual commencement date. For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.