Awards and Achievements
Ennis Montessori School has been notified with Túsla (Formerly HSE, Health Service Executive) since we first opened in 2001.
Ennis Montessori School was the first Child Care service in Clare to receive full compliancy by the pre-school inspection team in 2003 and has continued to achieve full compliancy since then.
The main purpose of the inspection includes:
- To secure the health, safety & welfare of children
- To promote the development of pre-school children
- To ensure compliancy with the regulations made under part VII of the Childcare regulations 1996
A more detailed description is set in Section 52 of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.
These inspections usually take place once a year and are on an ad-hoc basis.
A copy of our most recent inspection report is on the display board in the lobby.
A copy of the Child Care 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2006 is available should anyone wish to read them.
We are a member of Early Childhood Ireland.
This body represents over 25,000 childcare educators in Ireland and is supporting over 100,000 children and their families across the country.
Ennis Montessori School holds the highest level of accreditation from Early Years Education Policy Unit, under the Dept. of Education and Skills, for our completion of the Síolta Early Years Quality Assurance Programme.
We are the first childcare service in Ennis and the first private childcare service in Clare to have achieved this award.
Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education on behalf of the Dept. of Education and Skills.
It is designed to define, assess and support the improvement of quality across all aspects of practise in Early Childhood Care and Education Settings.
Síolta establishes 16 Quality Standards that all early childhood services should work towards and has two important functions:
- 1) To guide the way all early childhood care and education services work and develop in Ireland. It does this by establishing core principle to which all services must adhere and by guiding service providers and practitioners towards quality practise in all areas of service provision.
- 2) Síolta also serves as a self-assessment Quality Assurance Programme. Services participating in this programme work through all 16 standards of Síolta towards achieving high quality practise and accreditation.
In order to gain our accreditation we at Ennis Montessori School completed a comprehensive written portfolio including all 16 standards of Síolta supported by photographs, videos and our policies and procedures.
We also had a visitation from a Síolta Validator. Our certificate of completion is on display outside the Aoife Montessori Room.
- Since then we have been revalidated in 2018 being one of the first childcare services in the country to do so.
Healthy Ireland is the new government framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Ireland over the next generation.
It sets out a wide framework of actions that will be undertaken by Government Departments, public sector organisations, businesses, communities and individuals to improve health and wellbeing and reduce the risks posed to future generations.
Healthy Ireland is based on evidence and experience from around the world which shows that to create positive change in population health and wellbeing, a whole Government approach, the involvement of local communities as well as all of society is required.
It is within this context that the Túsla (HSE) has worked with the NCN for many years to develop and deliver the Smart Start Programme for Pre-school services to build staff knowledge and skills in order to influence children and families to develop healthy lifestyle behaviours.
What is Smart Start?
The Smart Start Training Programme was devised in response to the recommendations of the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Pre-school Services (2004).
The Programme was developed as a result of a collaborative process involving parents, the HSE, Pre-school providers, County Childcare Committees and the National Childhood Network.
HSE Dublin North East and NCN were aware how important pre-schools could be in highlighting health promotion with children, staff and families.
It was therefore decided that the Programme would be re-edited to include an Emotional Well-Being element (highlighted by evaluation) and offered as a CPD training Programme.
This is a holistic health promotion Programme and includes the following components:-
- An Introduction to Health Promotion
- Oral Health
- Health & Safety (Accident Prevention)
- Physical Activity
- Emotional Well-Being
In recognition of the valuable role Pre-school providers’ play in promoting children’s health and well-being,
Department of Health funding was made available to NCN, the National Childhood Network to secure the nationwide delivery of the Healthy Ireland Smart Start Training Programme.
Working in collaboration with County Childcare Committees nationwide and the Health Improvement Division of the HSE, sessional Pre-school providers across Ireland were invited to register their interest in participating in this new national initiative to develop Health Promoting Pre-school services.
The programme was delivered over a number of evenings and one Saturday by a newly recruited national team of trained Smart Start Trainers and focusses on the areas listed above.
Ennis Montessori School staff participated in this Programme and in order to gain accreditation as a Health Promoting Preschool, they:
1. Completed a Portfolio encompassing all areas of the Programme,
2. Held and Informative Talk for parents regarding Emotional Wellbeing and Literacy,
3. Had a visitation from a Smart Start Trainer to assess how we comply with the Programs’ objectives and aims.
We attended the Healthy Ireland Smart Start Award Ceremony on the 2ND of April this year to receive our Award for successfully completing the programme.