Above: Méara Chloch na gCoillte Colette Twomey cutting the ribbon to officially open the new "Le Chéile" Before/After School Care facility at Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, Clonakilty with from left: Pádraig Ó hEachtaigheirn, (Leas Príomhoide); Aidan Hennessy, (Bórd Bainistíochta) and Kate Ní Shúilleabháin, (Bainisteoir ‘Le Chéile’) with two young pupils. (Photo: Jean Luc Morales)
Mayor of Clonakilty Colette Twomey recently performed the official opening of the new ‘Le Chéile’ facility at the local Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin. ‘Le Chéile’ is a new state-of-the-art facility on the school grounds, which Gaelscoil pupils can attend before and after normal school times.
Príomhoide of An Gaelscoil, Ms. Carmel NicAirt said that the facility was put in place in response to some parents working away from Clonakilty during the day who had difficulties delivering and collecting near school times.
“They approached us to enquire if we would consider putting a service in place whereby the children could be dropped off earlier in the mornings, or stay on up to 6pm in the evenings in a supervised setting. We conducted a survey among our school families to ascertain interest and proceeded with the facility during the summer as a result. It is a local initiative, responding to a local need,” she said emphasising that ‘Le Chéile’ is not part of any franchise or company but a Gaelscoil service for families of the Gaelscoil.
Named ‘Le Chéile’, (the Irish word for ‘Together’), the not-for-profit facility employs Kate Ní Shúilleabháin who has a degree in Childcare and has six years experience in childcare work already. It is expected to expand over the coming months with two other employees being taken on.
Mayor Colette Twomey praised the initiative whereby the school has responded to parents needs. “It’s a win-win situation, with employment created, and parents assured that their children are cared for in a professional environment on the school campus outside of usual school hours,” she said, as she wished the facility and the Gaelscoil well into the future.