KILKENNY’S Fr. McGrath Centre’s childcare team has graduated in High/Scope Preschool Education, making the centre the first in the South-East to be accredited in High/Scope. Set to benefit children cared for at the centre, the High/Scope method of education has been proven to significantly outperform other education programs in pre-school development.
Hugely practised in the US and Europe, High/Scope training is relatively new to Ireland. Research shows that children who learn through High/Scope teaching develop abilities to problem solve, build self-confidence and acquire a positive self-image and good attitudes to others. At its core, High/Scope is about empowering children in a stimulating, fun and secure environment.
With its many benefits for children, the demand for High/Scope education is experiencing increasing demand from Kilkenny parents, particularly with Government’s introduction of ECCE – the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme – which provides a free childcare place for pre-school children at accredited centres for a year.
The ‘Learning Tree’ Crèche at the Fr. McGrath Centre is one of Kilkenny’s largest community childcare projects and cares for about 78 children each day. Based in Kilkenny’s Butts community, the centre offers full-time, seasonal, drop-in and respite education and care services for parents.
Speaking at the Fr. McGrath High/Scope Graduation, Catherine Lennon, Manager of ‘The Learning Tree’ Crèche at the Fr. McGrath Centre said: “The High/Scope training has been excellent and has given the whole pre-school team a new and better approach to working with children. High/Scope is all about the child and is so important for pre-school children as the lessons they learn here will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Because High/Scope is based around children’s interests, it keeps them focused and engaged. High/Scope also brings a new approach to challenging behaviour and we encourage parents to adopt the recommended steps to address this at home as well.”
Kilkenny’s only independent High/Scope trainer, Bridget Dowling, provided the training to the Fr. McGrath Centre pre-school team, who all graduated with flying colours. Bridget runs her own High/Scope childcare centre, ‘Grassroots’, at Rioch Court, Kilkenny city.
“It is vital to give proper training to those working with children in their most formative years of development. High/Scope has been proven to increase children’s confidence, initiative and ability to progress in school. It has been a real pleasure to train the Fr. McGrath team in this method of teaching, which I, and parents, have seen work so effectively in my own childcare centre”, says Bridget Dowling.