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Kincora Kids Community Childcare Service – Early Childhood Care and Education
05 October 2015 |
Kincora Kids, a community based childcare service located in the village of Killaloe, Co. Clare, first opened its doors to the public on January 10th 2011.

The idea for Kincora Kids was conceived by Killaloe Community Development Company (KCDC), a non-profit company set up by volunteers in Killaloe to support their local community. The organisation identified a need for affordable childcare in Killaloe and the surrounding areas. Following a successful application for funding under the National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) in December 2006, KCDC was awarded €900,000 in capital funding to build a purpose built, state of the art, childcare facility.

KCDC had been operating an afterschool service in the local family resource centre and had worked closely with another group called Clare Care who ran a community preschool in the area. The decision was taken to amalgamate these two childcare services with Kincora Kids prior to its opening in 2011. The amalgamation meant that children could avail of a new state of the art childcare service while continuing to benefit from expertise and experience of existing staff providing quality childcare. The new building now caters for 118 children enrolled across full-time, part-time, sessional and afterschool care, with up to 70 children attending at any one time. The service is currently full, with a waiting list, and employs 26 full-time and part-time staff. The service also facilitates people who are taking part in Community Employment and Tús schemes.

The service describes its mission as follows;
To provide a warm and friendly environment with the opportunity for the children to grow in all areas of their development in partnership with parents and the local community openly sharing ideas and approaches and creating opportunities for parents to interact and socialise.
This is underpinned by having a place where children can be nurtured in a safe and secure environment. Kincora Kids reached the finals in the Maternity and Infant Awards for Best Community Crèche in Ireland in October 2013, further evidence of the on-going commitment of Kincora Kids to provide quality childcare with highly trained staff.
Since its opening, Kincora Kids has participated across a number of Early Years funding Programmes operated through Pobal and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).  To date €354,750 has been received through Community Childcare Subvention (CCS), €14,840 under the Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS), and €160,875 through the ECCE (Free Preschool Year). Having also made an application under the Childcare Capital Funding Programme 2013 through Pobal, the service was granted funding of €4,950 “to provide natural outdoor space that promotes physical development and active outdoor play.” This funding has enabled Kincora Kids to develop an outdoor green space were children can learn about the environment and grow their own vegetables.

Kincora Kids, in conjunction with Clare Vocational Education Committee (VEC) and the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI), are facilitating Fetac Level 5 childcare training on the premises one evening a week. This course has been vital in up-skilling staff to meet the necessary level of training needed to work in the childcare sector.

"Kincora kids provides outstanding childcare along with a warm and friendly professional atmosphere that tops anything I have come across between Limerick, Clare and Dublin." Carolann Quinlan, parent
"Kincora Kids has been a great help during a challenging few years, We were able to avail of flexible, part-time and inexpensive child care in an outstanding, purpose built facility. The staff are settled and professional and not only do our boys enjoy going in, they even get excited when they see the Kincora Kids Minibus on a Sunday!"  Mark Ryan, parent

 “I moved from running a community preschool to Kincora Kids and was apprehensive about the move, but I settled in there straight away. I now work in a supervisory role in the office which I find to be both challenging and rewarding. The atmosphere in Kincora Kids is warm and friendly and I feel we have a great relationship with the children, parents and community in general."
Jean Brooks, Supervisor