Stepping Stones Childcare Centre

Welcome to Stepping Stones Childcare Centre! We are located in a dedicated building adjacent to Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre. We are committed to providing an early care and education service of the highest standards. We are registered with Tusla - The Child and Family Agency. Trained, motivated and friendly staff are the cornerstone of our service.

We aim to provide a quality service and a stimulating environment for children to develop their social, personal and educational skills and learn through a planned curriculum. Your child’s welfare and your peace of mind is most important to us. We provide a warm, loving home-from-home environment, where each child is treated with respect and will develop and learn as individuals while feeling safe and secure.

We have a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that our staff are obliged to adhere to. We provide daycare, ECCE (playschool) and an afterschools service as well as camps during school holidays.

Further details on all elements of the service are available below, but please do not hesitate to contact the Childcare Manager, Catherine Maher, with an queries on 059-9722028 or email

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Childcare Service

We offer a ‘Full Day Care’ service as defined in the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. These are the regulations that govern our service and we are inspected under these regulations by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

We cater for children aged 6 months – 13 years. We open 50 weeks per year and daily from Monday to Friday. We have capacity to cater for 80 children at any one time and our ratios are listed below. This service is a community-based service operated by the Board of Directors of Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre, directed by Josephine Tierney (Childcare and Family Services Coordinator) and managed by Catherine Maher.

Opening Hours: 8.00am—6.00pm

Weeks per year: 50 (closed 1 week at Easter and Christmas)

Capacity: 80

Age Range: 6 months - 13 years

Ratios: Sessional - 2.6 - 6 years (1:11)

    Full day and part-time care - Under 1 (1:3), 1-2 Years (1:5), 2-3 years (1:6), 3-6 years (1:8)

    After Schools (1:12)

Curriculum: Play based emerging

Funding: Free 2 year preschool ECCE and the National Childcare Scheme

Our Aims

  • To provide good quality affordable services that meet the needs of the people in the community.
  • To empower people to take control of their lives and be involved in their communities.
  • To provide quality affordable childcare for parents who wish to return to education, take part in a training course or return to the workforce.
  • To provide a child centred environment and service, rich in opportunity for children to learn through play.
  • To value each child as an individual regardless of culture, social, religious or economic background.

Our Vision

Our vision is to embrace the uniqueness of every child that comes into our care and build strong supportive and respectful relationships with the child and their family which will enable them to flourish to the best of their abilities.

In a warm caring supportive environment, which has a strong emphasis on inclusion and embraces diversity, we offer an age-appropriate, stimulating play-based curriculum which is tailored to meet the individual developmental needs of all our children.

Our team of highly trained enthusiastic professionals view the child as a capable and competent learner and aim to inspire, motivate, encourage, support and enable every child to receive a solid foundation for their future.

Key Personnel


Josephine Tierney

Manager (Person in charge)

Catherine Maher

Deputy in the absence of Manager

Elaine Doyle Darcy

Health and Safety Officer

Anne Shortall

Fire Officer

Noel Ryan

First Aid Co-ordinator

Catherine Maher

Designated Liaison Officer

Anne Shortall

Deputy Designated Liaison Officer

Josephine Tierney

Data Controller

Anne Shortall


Afterschools caters for Junior Infants to 6th Class from 2pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The work of Afterschool Club is based on respect for the rights of children, commitment to their welfare and recognition of the need for each child to fulfil their potential. We offer:
  • Supervised bus collection from local schools
  • Healthy nutritious hot meals
  • Supervised homework
  • Full programme of fun activities!

Afterschools Aims

  • To provide an Afterschool Program with a particular emphasis on small group homework support, in order to facilitate full participation of children in education (including one-to-one support for children who struggle at times or if English is not their first language)
  • To build each child’s sense of independence, self-esteem and responsibility.
  • Our focus is not just on occupying children safely and productively after school, but on creating a culture of fun that makes the after-school hours their favourite time of day.
  • We recognise parents as the primary educators of their children and wish to work in equal and respectful partnership with parents when supporting their child’s development.

Afterschools Policies

Attendance and Collection Policies

If a child has not attended school due to appointment, illness etc. the service should be informed no later than 10:30am. This policy also applies to unnotified changes of collection times. This should also apply in any event where by the child does not need to be collected. Failure to do so can waste valuable time and causes undue concern for staff collecting the child from their school.

  • It is the responsibility of parents to make necessary arrangements to get child to the service and to inform the person in charge in writing of these arrangements
  • Where the service agrees to collect the children from the school signed consent will be sought from the parent/guardian.
  • Children will be escorted by a known staff member who will always carry proof of identity. Prior contact will be made with children and school for new staff members.
  • The children will meet the staff in an arranged place and a register will be taken. Should a child be missing, the staff member will confirm with the school if the child was absent from school that day. This will cause delays for the staff and other children therefore we would request that the parent informs the service by telephone if a child will not be attending on any day.
  • In the interest of child protection and to comply with legislation child / staff ratios will be adhered to at all times.
  • If your child is absent from school due to illness, then he/she must not attend the afterschool service until he/she is well enough to return to school.

Homework Policy

We provide a period of time during our afterschool service for children to complete homework. This session will be scheduled to take place directly after children have had their snack/meal in the dining room,  which is relaxed and leisurely to enable children to unwind, socialise, and discuss daily events. Staff will contribute to a quiet relaxed atmosphere during homework sessions and encourage children to do the sam

  • Each child will get sufficient time to do the homework that they have been given by their class teacher.
  • Direction will be offered to the children to assist them in completing their homework if needed- staff are here to guide the children but a comprehensive evaluation will not be carried out.
  • Staff will not complete or change a childs work so that their class teacher is aware if they need help or support with a certain subject.
  • We are here to support your child but the final responsibility for checking the childs homework rests with the Parents/Guardians. Staff will not sign any homework diaries or workbooks , this remains the ultimate responsibility of the parent to ensure that all homework is complete.
  • If the child is finished their homework before the time has elapsed , thay will be encouraged to check over their homework before they can engage in recreational activities.  
  • Staff will advise parents discretely if they are concerned about any childs learning or if they are having difficulty with a certain subject.
  • The After-School Service recognises the importance of the parent's role in homework support and encourages them to check work completed, hear reading again etc. and play an active role in the homework supervision and support of their child.

Halloween, Easter and Summer Camps

Examples of what we do:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Cookery & Baking
  • Music & Dance
  • Junk modelling
  • Gardening
  • Wide range of toys and games
  • Chill out zone
  • Team building activities
  • Sports and outdoor play (hockey, soccer, tennis, basketball)

Come along and join the fun!