Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Reopening – Compromises and Silver Linings


Monday 14 September 2020

“Dream big, work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with good people.”

I’m a big fan of inspirational quotes and Facebook memes because sometimes they just hit the right note. In our service, we like to dream big which includes a collaborative dream of a “perfect” creche. This idea forms the centre or ethos of our service. We are far from perfect but through hard work and staying focused we like to think that together we make baby steps towards “our perfect”. Baby steps can add up over time and every so often it is nice to stop and look back at how far we have come.

So, what does our perfect creche look like? Well it’s a language-rich environment, has high-quality interactions, there is play, play, play, the outdoor environment is at least as important as the indoor environment, there is an emphasis on self-regulation and choice and in the centre of all of this is the confident and competent child. Our ideal imagined environment is not one of classrooms and restrictions but rather of a small community where children and adults can wander, help and learn with each other. It is our idea of perfect and an idea that is constantly evolving.

I struggled with the new guidelines for re-opening post COVID-19. “Separate pods,” screamed at me and for a moment the dream crumbled. “No parents in the creche – what was going to happen to our sense of community?” “Guidelines!” I yelled in my head “could someone not just tell us what to do?”.

Thank goodness our service has an abundance of good people. With good people, negative thoughts and worries can be talked about and shared. Educators, parents and children have all rallied in their support. Together we began to look at things more positively, allowing us to reset our focus with some compromises and even some silver linings. Together, our line of thinking changed.

“You wouldn’t tell a child what to do to solve a problem – you’d guide them to finding a solution that works for them and others around them.”

“We have a real opportunity here to explore mixed age groups.”

“It’s great that siblings will spend more time together.”

“Settling new children may be a challenge but we will find a way to make it work for everyone.”

“It will need a bit of re-thinking and hard work – but that’s what we are good at.”

“We will keep doing our best, things will work out.”

“We may not get to perfect or be totally happy with our results – we can always re-jig - we can keep trying, like always.”

“We will learn as we go. It will get easier.”

As a service, our small community of staff and families have worked together to manage our core values within COVID-19 guidelines.

There are many different approaches to early years education, just as there are many ways to interpret and implement government guidelines. In our small community, we have discussed, agreed, disagreed and argued. There is no one size fits all. We have just done our best to reduce transmission risk while keeping each child’s wellbeing at the centre of what we do and love.



Sarah Twohig is Manager at Crawford Childcare in Glanmire, Co. Cork. Sarah began her career in Early Years Education after her own children started school. Returning to education after a break, she studied Early Years at FETAC level 5 and continued to complete a HETAC Level 8 in Early Childhood Studies and LINC. Sarah joined Crawford Childcare in 2010. Her areas of interest in the early years include the benefits of outdoor play, supporting children’s social competence and inclusion.

0 comments Comments

Comments are closed.

Research Conference 2019(1) Giraffe(2) Scents(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Early Years Educators(3) Inspirational(2) Confident(1) STEM(3) Builders(1) Reflective Practice(1) Wrapping paper(1) Hand Hygiene(2) CPD(1) mushrooms(1) Social Skills(1) dining(1) emotional well-being(1) Ceremony(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) Pre-School Services(1) Capable(1) reopening ireland(1) UNICEF report(1) Christmas Creativity(2) blog(43) Mathematicians(1) Meal time(1) Gardening(1) Elders(1) Research Seminar(1) Child mental health(1) Sport(1) Primary School(2) Competent(1) Pedagogy(2) Sculptures(1) Exploring(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Síolta(128) Kids Own(1) christmas(9) Buddy Bench(1) AsIAm(2) CCTV(1) Role play(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Graduate(1) Stress(2) Leprechauns(1) Laugh(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Annual Conference 2017(2) Inclusion(3) UD(1) overhear(1) COVID-19(11) Advocacy(1) outdoor space(3) Affordability(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) annual conference(1) maternity health(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Iraq(1) Budget 2020(1) Well-Being(10) Winter(1) Change(1) Early Childhood Ireland(6) toddlers(3) Through the looking glass(1) Running(1) Budget 2018(1) coronavirus(1) Names(1) Reading Time(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Small World Play(1) play pods(2) Art(6) lockdown(1) School Age Childcare(1) Return to Work Training(1) Self-regulation(1) child-centred approach(1) Montessori(3) phone apps(1) RTE Investigates(1) ECEC(3) communication(4) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Arlene Forster(1) routine(2) eating(1) Patterns(1) Decision Making(1) Confidence(1) Penguins(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Valentine's Day(3) CIT(1) NAEYC(1) Traffic Lights(1) Early Years(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Adoption(1) Digital Devices(1) Window(1) research submissions(1) Equality(1) Supernanny(1) Celebrations(4) early childhood(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Anxiety(2) Exploratory Play(1) value(1) Investment(2) Grief(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Independence(1) relationships(17) Breathing(2) friendships(1) Exclusion(1) Loss(1) Engineers Week(2) EECERA 2016(1) Maynooth(1) outdoor environment(1) Inter-generational learning(2) environments(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Map(1) play(35) Snacks(1) Trade Unions(1) Creative(1) science(3) transitions(10) Mantra(1) Maynooth University(2) Upcycling(1) Relaxation(1) Educators(2) preschool(4) Recycling(2) Cognitive development(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Buddies(1) Síolta QAP(1) Leadership(1) Shoes(1) dogs(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Learning Stories(9) Exit interview(1) Party(1) respect(5) Large Doll Play(1) Event Guide(1) Body Language(1) Drawing(2) TOY Programme(1) risk assessment(1) children’s learning(1) Plastic(1) reopening(1) emotions(2) science week(2) Care-giving routines(1) ECEC Setting(2) Line-ups(1) MECPI(1) children development(1) Touch(1) ICBN(1) Trigonometry(1) Potential(1) Belonging(3) UNCRC(2) Death(2) Afghanistan(1) journey(1) Opportunities(1) Playdough(1) Bereavement(2) Culture(2) European Project(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Mindfulness(2) Teamwork(1) Interests(1) Performing(1) reading(5) Workplace well-being(1) Pretend Play(1) Visitors(1) Anthony Semann(1) Academic Skills(1) Learning journals(1) behavioural science(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) youdoodle(1) Funding(1) Time(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Academics(1) Vietnam(1) Workplace Relations(3) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Mental Health(4) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Thank you(1) gender bias(1) Building Resilience(1) Children(4) Games(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) documentation(4) HR(1) education(2) outdoors(4) EM Standing(1) Lego(2) Light table(1) Trick or treat(1) Universal Design(2) Painting(1) Awards 2019(1) Degree(1) NCCA(3) refugees(1) curiosity(3) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Certificate(1) ReCreate(2) Thinking(1) educating(1) peer group(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Child Care(1) curriculum(5) art of the relationship(1) Loving Relationships(1) pets(1) Nonverbal(1) National Awards 2018(2) UN(1) Children and families(1) Children's Voice(1) apps for children(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Prexit(1) Tuscan Approach(2) MA(1) Oireachtas(1) childcare services(1) Margy Whalley(1) Maria Montessori(1) Treasure(1) racism(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) child-centric(1) Diversity(1) Early Years Education(1) Seanchaí(1) Scéalta Blog(100) Mount Everest(1) Gratitude(1) Kerry(1) learning hub(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Covid response(1) Glitter(2) Time Out(1) Children's Rights(3) Frosty the Snowman(1) Engagement(1) Flowers(1) GoToMeeting app(1) listening(1) Health(2) preschool settings(1) listen(1) Document Learning(1) Recycle(1) Yoga(1) primary education(1) Sessional service(1) Arts(1) Online(1) Professionalisation(5) Trade union(1) Challenges(1) Learning Journal(2) New Appointments(1) Plants(1) Intention(1) Learning Story(1) Fantasy play(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) The Jelly King(1) healthy eating policies(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Participation(2) feisty(1) grandchild(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Mealtimes(1) Wendy Lee(3) keep in touch(1) Maths Week(1) Communications(1) Infectious diseases(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Whole Group(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Aistear(124) Performance Management(1) Norway(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) Our Little Seed(1) risky play(2) under 3's(3) Vertical grouping(1) Japan(1) Impact(1) Mark Twain(1) Easter(1) play stories(2) AIM(2) Covid19 crisis(1) Study Trip(1) Halloween(2) Maternity Leave(1) Xbox(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Favouritism(1) Pen green(1) Seas Suas(1) animals(2) planning(1) First 5(1) education system(1) Pobal(1) keezy(1) Magic(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) early years research(2) Malaguzzi(1) Mixed age groups(3) Cork(1) Awards Night(1) development(8) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Reggio(1) Imagination(3) Special Needs Assistants(1) Exercise(1) Snack Time(1) Technology(3) Blocks(1) Dance(1) scéalta(47) INTO(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Storytelling(7) movement behaviours(1) parents(6) Fabric(1) Empathy(1) Self-Esteem(1) risk(2) Smiles(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Interactions(2) Magda Gerber(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) bloom app(1) University(1) College(1) First 5 strategy(1) Brain(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) awards 2020(1) Home Corner(1) continual professional development(1) code of ethics(1) Book Review(1) Reggio Children Network(1) social media(1) life long learning(1) interacting(2) responsive relationships(1) Rituals(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Effect of Lockdown(1) babies(7) Love(3) Family(1) Appreciation(1) Jenga(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) research(6) Masterclass(2) Snakes(1) iOS(1) Limerick(1) outdoor play(6) Valerie Gaynor(1) Community involvement(1) TRAP(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) memories(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Arithmetic(1) Staff Motivation(1) ERASMUS+(3) Learning through Storytelling(1) Wonder(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Maths(6) United Nations(1) Wesco(1) Workforce(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Positivity(1) Book Club(2) Biting(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) meals(3) Super Shed Stories(2) developing motor skills(1) conversations(1) PIP(1) purpose(1) Counting(1) Irish guidelines(1) Communicating(1) Mo Scéal(1) Children's Research Network(1) dining experiences(1) Playschool(1) Celebrate(1) The Lullaby Book(1) social science(1) Leargas(1) Thanks(1) early years learning(1) Sequins(1) early childhood educator(2) Albert Einstein(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Orla Kenny(1) Laughter(1) Magnavacchi(1) supportive environments(2) imotion(1) Policy(2) Training(2) Annual Conference 2019(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Santa(2) Environment(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Eritrea(1) gender stereotype(1) Graduation(1) budget(1) Sustainability(3) online training(1) play pod(1) Wilenski(1) Syria(1) Frustrations(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) National Holiday(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Digital(1) San Miniato(4) Consent(1) books(4) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Photographs(1) ECCE(7) Iceland(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Mayo(1) learning(19) RIE philosphy(1) Visual Impairment(1) Family wall(1) mental health problems(1) Engineering(3) role playing(1) story time(2) Facebook(1) staying connected(1) june29(1) Decisions(1) Italy(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Employee(1) Learning Story Awards(2) trust(4) Traditions(2) Shapes(2) Craft(1) Spiders(1) experience(1) Inter-generational(2) Interaction(1) Sustainable(1) structure(1) DES Inspection(1) creche(1) learning bias(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Kilkenny(1) man up(1) early life(1) Self Help Skills(1) Care routines(1) Support(1) Quality(4) Covid pandemic(2) Growing up Outdoors(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Irish(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Inspections(1) Your place(1) IGL(1) Design(1) Awards 2018(3) Nutrition(1) Rich Documentation(1) Youtube Series(1) family time(1) SPICE Framework(1) Feeding(1) Twitter(1) Creativity(5) Weather(1) play therapy(1) Titles(1) Socioemotional development(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) learners(1) Childhood(1) Story(2) DCYA(6) Treasure Chest(1) worries(1) World Health Organisation(1) SAC(1) dublin(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Human Resources(1) show and tell(1) linc(1) Routines(2) Behaviour(3) conference(1) Little Buddies(1) collaboration(1) Budget 2019(2) community(5) Sweets(1) stories(3) Reopening Childcare(1) ELC(1) Siolta blog(8) aistear blog(3) food(1) Settling in(4) Obesity(1) Administrative Burden(1) educarer(1) pablo(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Mud kitchens(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Queues(1) bonds(1) Horizon 2020(1) Infection Control(1) Childcare(3) Awards(2) Summer(1) emotional environment(2) GDPR(1) Fee Play(1) Music(3) baby room(1) National Awards 2019(1) Autism(4) Emergent Curriculum(1) ears(1) Meet the Members(1) Sleep(1) Qualifications(1) E.coli(1) Identity(5)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine