The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, T.D. unveiled a Síolta plaque at Dominic's Community Centre (Young Explorer's Pre-school) in Tallaght today (Friday, 16 th November) which it received in recognition of the quality of the services it delivers for pre-school and school-going children of the area.
Síolta is a Department of Education and Skills quality framework for all services working with children aged up to six years in the Early Childhood Care and Education sector in Ireland.
Minister Burton congratulated all involved in achieving the Síolta plaque for Dominic's Community Centre saying: "I am delighted to unveil this plaque which reflects the efforts and achievements of the staff involved in delivering a quality service for the very young and school going children living in St. Dominic's parish in Tallaght. It is the combined dedication of everyone involved which results in the recognition of the Síolta award."
Dominic's Community Centre employs a staff of 31, of which there are 17 Community Employment (CE) participants, 1 supervisor and 3 Tús workers. Their work involves providing children with a quality preschool education which enables them to explore their world by interacting with each other, with adults and with the wider community. The children receive quality experiences through play that meet the Aistear Curriculum guided by the Síolta standards and endorsed by the Department of Education and Skills.
Commenting on how the Department of Social Protection supports the work of Dominic's Community Centre, Minister Burton said: "I am also very pleased that people are gaining this most worthwhile work experience through schemes operated by my Department which includes Community Employment and Tús. It is a credit to the leadership of Dominic's Community Centre that, in the past year, the scheme has a progression rate into employment of over 40%."
The Community Employment Preschool which moved to Dominic's Community Centre in April 2009 provides pre-school education for 2½ to 5 year old children, two sessions per day, 5 days a week. It also provides afterschool care for children from 5 – 12 years, 5 days a week catering for over 50 children per day, including children with special needs.
Dominic's Community Centre has developed a mentoring programme for all childcare workers whereby they have the opportunity to learn the skills of an ‘Early Years Educator' in a practical way, with on the job work experience certified training. Participants gain qualifications at FETAC Level 4, 5 and 6. There are opportunities for the Community Employment Participants to work in study groups and support each other so that they are better equipped to progress to employment or further education.
Minister Burton concluded her visit to Dominic's Community Centre by again paying tribute to the staff saying: "I congratulate all of you on your achievements in delivering such a quality childcare service and I wish you continued success with your programme of work."
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