A Cork childcare provider was among the winners of Early Childhood Ireland’s annual National Awards, which recognise the excellent practice of educators in early learning and care settings.
Sarah O’Leary, from Cheeky Cherubs Early Years School, in Ballincollig, was given the Pedagogical Leader Award, sponsored by Wesco. Sarah won for her continuous approach to discovering new practices and for research in early learning and care settings.
Cheeky Cherubs Early Years School was also shortlisted for the Learning Story of the Year (written to individual child) award.
Early Childhood Ireland supports 3,800 childcare members nationwide, who — in turn — support over 100,000 children and their families.
Another Cork childcare provider was also recognised in the awards shortlist.
Blackwater Childcare, in Fermoy, was shortlisted for the First 5 Award for Transitions for Children.
“The Early Childhood Ireland National Awards showcase the excellent practice in early learning and care settings,” CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, Teresa Heeney, said. “This year has been a particularly challenging one for the early-years sector, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the high quality of the awardees demonstrates the ingenuity and tenacity which is embedded across our sector.
“I would like to congratulate Cheeky Cherubs Early Years School and thank them for their innovative approach and contribution to the continued development of the early-years sector,” Ms Heeney said. “Their work helps to inspire many in our sector by delivering new and creative practices to support the education and care of children. I would also like to thank our sponsors for supporting this year’s National Awards.”
Ms Heeney added: “The National Awards clearly demonstrate the resourcefulness and commitment of those who work within the early-years sector and reinforces the need to fully professionalise the sector to ensure our early-years educators are properly recognised and valued. I hope the Government moves positively in this direction in the very near future.”