Puzzle tree will help Our Lady's Island playschool to grow

By Amy Lewis

Published 16/01/2016 | 00:00

Cllr Ger Carthy Mayor of Wexford the the staff and children of Páistí Beaga Pre School in Hotel Rosslare on Friday morning at their paly and charity tree.
Back; Jane McLoughlin, Tracey Doyle, Tadhg Nolan, Cllr Ger Carthy, Zack Newport, Sarah Newport and Mary O'Leary.
Middle; Robyn Sutherland, Nadine O'Leary, Kelly McLoughlin, Wendy Moran and Alfie McGuire.
Front; Kaiden Cloke, James Marlow, Sarah Coughlin and Christopher Redmond.
Cllr Ger Carthy Mayor of Wexford the the staff and children of Páistí Beaga Pre School in Hotel Rosslare on Friday morning at their paly and charity tree. Back; Jane McLoughlin, Tracey Doyle, Tadhg Nolan, Cllr Ger Carthy, Zack Newport, Sarah Newport and Mary O'Leary. Middle; Robyn Sutherland, Nadine O'Leary, Kelly McLoughlin, Wendy Moran and Alfie McGuire. Front; Kaiden Cloke, James Marlow, Sarah Coughlin and Christopher Redmond.

The people behind community playschool Páistí Beaga have their sights set on bigger things and at their recent fundraiser, they began to put the pieces of their puzzle together.

The facility in Our Lady's Island introduced their 'Puzzle Tree' just before Christmas and welcomed people from across the county to buy a square for €2. It proved to be a success, filling up three times and raising over €700 for the centre. At a special event before Christmas, Cllr Ger Carthy Mayor of Wexford placed the final decoration on the tree.

The festive fundraiser was only the beginning for the small playschool. According to Chairperson of the Fundraising Committee Sarah Newport, they hope to work towards expanding the facility in the coming years.

'There are people from the area who are going to other areas to avail of childcare facilities and they shouldn't be. Children should be brought up in their own area but because our building is so small, we can only fit in 11 kids. Parents have no choice,' she explained. 'Our vision is to cater for all of the kids in our area.'

Páistí Beaga has introduced the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme which allows them to offer cheaper childcare to those from low-income households. However, according to Sarah, their current premises will not allow them to cater for everyone who wishes to avail of the scheme.

In January, Sarah, along with Committee Secretary Jane McGlaughlin and Treasurer Mary O'Leary, will meet with those involved in the LEADER Programme to discuss a plan of action for the future. They hope that they can work towards getting a log cabin facility and a playground.

'We can't just do it ourselves though. There are only three of us on the committee,' said Sarah. 'We would like to invite local groups and people to get involved in any way that they can.'

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