Suaimhneas Community Crèche

This state-of-the-art community childcare facility opened to the public in September 2011. Our mission each day is to provide care for children which values a home from home environment. We achieve this through providing childcare, which is community based, dependable, affordable, accessible, and professional. Our fully qualified staff team aim to create an environment which values diversity and equality, positivity, warmth, cognitive and sensory stimulation; developmentally appropriate to ensuring each child can reach their full potential. Our staff team endeavour to provide and emergent and enquiry-based curriculum which empowers young children to actively pursue their own learning.

Central to what we do is to value each child as unique individuals, understand and promote the importance of learning through play, community liaison, collaboration and partnership with parents, and the human rights of each child.
We run 4 daily Preschool sessions under the government ECCE scheme, two morning sessions and two afternoon sessions to meet the need of all parents and children.

We also have a toddler room (which caters for 2 – 3-year-olds), a wobbler room (which caters for 1 – 2-year-olds) and our school aged children are catered for in our afterschool programme where we provide homework support together with a programme of activities including arts and crafts and games.

Our kitchen is fully equipped to provide high quality nutritious meals each day for all the children. All meals are freshly prepared daily in our state -of -the art kitchen. We understand the importance of establishing good healthy eating practices and we encourage a positive stimulating environment where children can interact socially while enjoying their meals. All special dietary requirements or parent wishes are respected, and the menus reflect the cultural and religious backgrounds of all the children.


Our wobbler room caters for children aged 12 months to 2 years of age. All toys are age appropriate, and the focus is on learning to play. It is in the wobbler room where the children take their first steps to independence, by feeding themselves and starting to direct their own learning. They also learn to develop their early language skills and how to interact with the other children and staff in the room. Children have access to their own enclosed outdoor playground all year round where they can explore the outdoor environment.


Our toddler room caters for 2 – 3-year-olds. It is a bright spacious room that offers endless opportunities for exploration and fun. In the toddler room as in all rooms our aim is to encourage the children to keep competent and confident learners. Children will learn how to independent (putting on own coat, toilet training which is done in partnership with parents/guardians, feeding themselves, tidying up) as well as a wide range of activities that will assist them in in their social, emotional, language, physical and intellectual development. Our toddler room also has access to their own enclosed outdoor play area all year round. Encouraging children to go outside to explore, to run, get moving and connect with the natural world incorporates all 4 of Aistear’s Themes: Exploring and Thinking, Identity and Belonging, Well-Being and Communicating.


Here at Suaimhneas Community Childcare, we operate a Healthy Eating Policy. We aim to provide a well-balanced nutritious diet, with food from each of the food categories i.e carbohydrates, protein, fats and essential minerals and vitamins offered on the daily menu. Any special dietary requirements or parents/guardians wishes are respected

All meals are freshly prepared daily onsite in our fully equipped catering kitchen. We provide high quality nutritious meals and cater to all children’s individual needs. We believe that mealtimes are an opportunity for exploration and discovery of different foods and gives the children the opportunity to not only interact socially but to encourage them to be more independent.

All birthdays and other celebrations are celebrated in Suaimhneas.

Click here to view a Sample 3 Week Menu



Suaimhneas Community Childcare is committed to valuing diversity by providing equal opportunities and anti – discriminatory practice for all children and families. All staff are trained in Equality and Diversity and we make inclusion a thread that runs through all activities in our setting.


Our preschool rooms offer a wide variety of toys and equipment to enhance each child’s learning and development. In our preschool rooms we give the children the tools they need to start primary school. The children will learn pre literacy and pre numeracy skills through play and will also learn the importance of sharing, being independent and how to solve conflict. Both preschools have access to 2 playgrounds which offer a wide variety of equipment and open spaces a to allow the children to run and explore their surroundings. We also have a sensory garden where the children can go to touch and smell the different plants which include mint and lavender, see the butterflies flutter by and listen to the bees buzzing as the collect the pollen.


Our afterschool club runs in 2 rooms situated upstairs in the Treo Nua building. Here the children receive a hot nutritious meal each day as well as fresh fruit that is available daily. We are primarily and afterschool club not a homework club, however we will accommodate homework when we can. The children have a wide range of activities available both indoor and outdoor for them in our afterschool programme.



The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) programme is a universal two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range.

It provides children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school. The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June each year.

There is one point of entry at the beginning of the programme year. The programme will be available to all children who have turned 2 years and 8 months of age before August 31st as long they will not turn 5 years and 6 months of age on or before June 30th of the programme year.

Childcare services taking part in the ECCE programme must provide an appropriate pre-school educational programme which adheres to the principles of Síolta, the national framework for early years care and education.

Eligibility for ECCE

The programme is available to all children from the September after the child has turned 2 years and 8 months.

This table shows the eligibility for ECCE by year of birth.

Birth date between ECCE start date ECCE end date
1st January 2016 – 31st December 2016 1st September 2019 + 1st September 2020 June 2021
1st January 2017 – 31st December 2017 1st September 2020 + 1st September 2021 June 2022
1st January 2018 – 31st December 2018 1st September 2021 + 1st September 2022 June 2023
1st January 2019 – 31st December 2019 1st September 2022 + 1st September 2023 June 2024
1st January 2020 – 31st December 2020 1st September 2023 + 1st September 2024 June 2025
1st January 2021 – 31st December 2021 1st September 2024 + 1st September 2025 June 2026


The National Childcare Scheme

1. What is the National Childcare Scheme?

The National Childcare Scheme provides subsidies to help parents meet the cost of quality Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare. It will replace all previous targeted childcare support programmes with a single, streamlined, and user-friendly Scheme.

Under the National Childcare Scheme, subsidies are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder and school age childcare services.

2. What subsidies are available under the National Childcare Scheme?

There are two types of subsidies available under the National Childcare Scheme: A Universal subsidy and an Income Assessed subsidy.

3. What is a Universal subsidy?

Universal subsidies are available to all families with children under 3 years, or families with children over 3 years who have not yet qualified for the free preschool (ECCE) programme. It is not means tested and provides 50 cents per hour for up to 45 hours per week off the cost of a Tusla registered childcare place.

4. What is an Income Assessed subsidy?

Income Assessed subsidies are available to families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years. They are means tested and will be calculated based on your individual circumstances. The subsidy rate will vary depending on your level of reckonable family income, your child’s age, and their educational stage. It can be used towards the cost of a Tusla registered childcare place for up to a maximum of 45 hours per week.

To apply for an Income Assessed subsidy, your reckonable family income has to be less than €60,000 per year. Read more about this in Question 14.

5. What happens to the previous childcare support programmes?

The NCS was introduced to replace all of the previous legacy schemes. The NCS provides for a limited transition period for those previously benefitting from legacy schemes.

The existing “saver” arrangement was extended, to ensure that no one loses out in the initial transition to the new Scheme. Additional funding was secured to extend the savers beyond August 2020. This means that persons who were registered on the CCS or TEC schemes before they closed and who retain their eligibility will be able to remain on them indefinitely for example until they no longer require Early Learning and Care and School-Age childcare.

This is a limited measure, and once these remaining entitlements are concluded, the NCS will replace these legacy scheme entitlements as has always been intended.

No new applications can be made under the legacy schemes.

If you have any questions regarding the existing programmes you can email or contact your local City or County Childcare Committee. (Laois County Childcare Committee).


The goal of AIM is to create a more inclusive environment in pre-schools, so all children, regardless of ability, can benefit from quality early learning and care. The model achieves this by providing universal supports to pre-school settings, and targeted supports, which focus on the needs of the individual child, without requiring a diagnosis of disability.

AIM commenced in 2016, since then, it has helped tens of thousands of children with a disability to access and meaningfully participate in the ECCE programme in pre-school settings nationwide. The model has been recognised internationally and has won awards for both excellence in practice, and inclusive policy. Visit the AIM website at