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 (preschool) 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 Ryan Maher, with any queries on 083 2050456 or email

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 90 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:
    8.00 am—6.00 pm
  • Weeks per year: 50 (closed 1 week at Easter and Christmas)
  • Capacity: 90
  • Age Range: 1 year  – 12 years
  • Ratios: Sessional – 2.6 – 6 years (1:11)
  • Full day and part-time care: Under 1, 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 – Link to NCS: Home  · Applicant Portal (

– 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 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.

Early years Manager

Catherine Maher

Deputy in the absence of Manager

Elaine Doyle Darcy

Health and Safety Officer

Catherine Maher

Fire Officer

Noel Ryan

First Aid Co-ordinator

Catherine Maher

Designated Liaison Officer

Lynda Stacey

Deputy Designated Liaison Officers

Catherine Ryan Maher and Kate Slawateksa 

Data Controller

Anne Shortall

Afterschool Manager

Kate Slawateksa

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!

– 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.

Policies and Procedures are available on request.

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)