THE availability of Play and Parenting Facilitators in the West Limerick area has been boosted recently with 16 individuals now qualified after completing a 14-week training programme in Newcastle West.
The skills shortage in the child development sector has meant that up until recently suitable qualified and experienced facilitators simply could not be hired locally. This prompted West Limerick Resources to start up the free course back in February in the Newcastle West Community Centre.
Combining theory based sessions with practical experience, the course aimed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to design and deliver suitable play and learning workshops in various community settings.
"Our aim was to provide suitable local individuals with a solid grounding in the field, thereby helping to further enhance important parenting and child development projects and activities in West Limerick and surrounding areas," said Theresa Shanahan who is a Family Support Worker with West Limerick Resources.
Feedback from participants in the course has been very positive and Helen Ahern from Broadford commented, "It really gave me an understanding and knowledge of the importance of play for children and has given me the confidence that I can now provide information to parents and lead activities with children."