Recognition for best nurseries
THE Minister for Children, Barry Andrews, last night presented 16 childcare facilities from around the country with All Ireland Centre of Excellence awards.
In the same week that health chiefs warned that one-third of childcare facilities were not inspected last year, as inspection personnel were diverted into dealing with swine flu, these 16 childcare providers were found to excel in the early-years care they offer.
The quality mark has been awarded to nearly 100 National Children's Nurseries Association members since 2002 -- all of whom volunteered themselves for a scrutiny that might be expected as a matter of course, thus providing a common standard of care.
The 16 that excelled this year were: Parklands Nursery and Montessori School, Bright Horizons Family Solutions and Nurture Childcare and three Park Academy Childcare facilities, all in Dublin; Chatterboxes and Happy Steps Childcare, both in Co Kildare; Grovelands, Mother Hubbards and Bright Horizons, both in Co Meath; Cairdeas and Grovelands, both in Co Westmeath; St Catherine's Community Childcare in Co Carlow; Cheeky Cherubs in Cork; and Rockmount Day Nursery and Country Kids Day Nursery in Northern Ireland.