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Glendurragh Childcare Services Ltd is a not-for-profit company which was established in 2003. It originally began as a playgroup which operated from the local community hall in the village of Kesh. However it was soon recognised that there was the demand for the provision of day care services to children of older ages as well.
Following the awarding of initial funding from the PEACE Programme, the company began to provide childcare services and currently provides for approximately 70 children up to the age of eleven. The catchment area which is serves lies predominantly in the Kesh, Ederney and Lack wards.
The establishment of Glendurragh Childcare Services was very much driven by members of the local community. A number of key motivations lay behind its establishment including the need to provide affordable childcare to a rural area; to help bring money into/encouraging spending in Kesh and to help to build community relations. These motivations continue to act as key social objectives for the organisation.
Childcare provision is split into three age groups namely Baby, Toddler and Afterschools and caters for children from 6 weeks to 11 years old. Children are currently cared for at the company’s centre in Kesh. It is open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 6pm and the centre includes a breakfast club. The company rents the centre from Kesh Enterprise Company Ltd which helps to provide a reduced rental rate to Glendurragh Childcare Services and is important to its day to day running.
The centre provides an excellent environment for children to interact with one another and is ideally located in relation to other facilities in the village including the local community hall, a public football pitch and green space as well as a public play park. Glendurragh Childcare Services uses the local community hall for both the Baby and Toddlers groups, providing a safe and controlled area for the toddlers to run about and enjoy themselves. Older children also have the advantage of being able to play games such as football and dodge ball on the public football pitch and use the play park. Last year a summer scheme was run for children which included a number of day trips. Trips were made to venues such as Belfast Zoo, Castle Island Children’s Indoor Activity Centre, Castle Archdale and the cinema. Glendurragh Childcare Services also operate their own bus service to collect children from school and bring them to the centre once school has finished. This is extremely beneficial for parents who are at work during the day and who would otherwise find it difficult to move their child from school to the childcare centre. Another important dimension of their care is their ability to look after children with disabilities and the centre is designed to accommodate for their needs. Volunteers play a crucial role in the day to day running of Glendurragh Childcare Services. There are currently around 20 parents who volunteer in addition to a number of paid staff who dedicate their free time. Volunteers are very important in helping to meet regulations surrounding childcare provision and maintain the correct ratio of adults to children required.
The majority of Glendurragh Childcare Services incomes is from parental fees, however they have also received grants from a number of other organisations including Lloyds TSB and Awards for All. In the future Glendurragh Childcare Services would like to provide an I.T. facility for the older children it cares for. This is however dependent on funding available. Indeed the current economic climate presents challenges, with a significant number of parents in the local area losing their jobs and this has had an effect on the demand for childcare services.
Glendurragh Childcare Services therefore provides a crucial service to a rural area in North Fermanagh for both children and parents alike. Parents would otherwise be forced to travel much further, to towns such as Enniskillen which is 25 minutes away by car, in order to find a similar service provider. Glendurragh Childcare Services also makes an important contribution to economic life in the local area, employing 24 staff and this in turn has positive spending implications for local shops and businesses in the area. Improving cross community relations is also extremely important and providing social opportunities for parents is advantageous. Indeed within the last year Glendurragh have began to run parental meetings, which give parents the opportunity to discuss childcare issues, socialise and help to build a relationship between themselves and Glendurragh Childcare Services.
• Established in 2003
• Provides childcare service for approximately 70 children up to the age of 11
• Caters for children from 6 weeks to 11 years old
• Provides a crucial service to a rural area in North Fermanagh for both for children and parents alike.