• Crann/BCCN After School & Outdoor Play Conference – 21st September 2013

    Posted on August 21, 2013 by in News Updates

    Crann Support Group & Border Counties Childhood Network

    After School and Outdoor Play Conference

    Newgrange Hotel|Navan|Co. Meath

    21st September 2013  10.00a.m. – 4.30p.m.

    The Conference

    This conference is a unique collaboration between the Crann Support Group and the Border Counties Childhood Network.

    It will include inspirational speakers, hands-on workshops with practical ideas for early childhood and after school educators and the opportunity to visit an exciting outdoor play facility.

    The Aim of the Conference

    The conference aims to provide information and guidance to inform the delivery of inspirational After School services and Outdoor Play facilities for children aged 6 months to 12 years old.

    Who Should Attend

    ü Early Childhood and After School Educators
    ü Owner-Managers/Management Committees
    ü Trainers
    ü Students
    ü Pre-School Inspectors
    ü Early Childhood & After School Support Staff


    Cost (Dependant on number of people attending from service/organisation)

     One attendee – € 45 per person
     Two attendees – €40 per person
     Three or more attendees – €35 per person

    Click here to download the conference schedule and booking form

    About Us

    Crann Support Group
    The Crann Support Group is an innovative model of management, born out of the need for community groups to be sustainable during these difficult economic times. This model developed as a result of the needs identified by four Community Childcare Facilities in Co. Meath. The services realised that by working in partnership they could achieve their common aim which is the delivery of quality affordable childcare while remaining sustainable and keeping their own individual autonomy. Due to demand the four facilities quickly expanded to nine services availing of the entire management services of the Crann Group. In addition another nine community groups are now availing of the ancillary services provided by the Crann Support Team. All of the Companies engaged with the Crann Support Group are Limited Companies with Charitable status.

    Border Counties Childhood Network
    ‘Supporting the Attainment of National Quality Standards in the Early Childhood and After School Sector’
    The BCCN was established in 1997 and since then has provided a forum for a range of agencies to progress the quality agenda within the Early Childhood and After School sector. The BCCN is part-funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to support the attainment of national quality standards in both Early Childhood and After School services. The BCCN supports the quality agenda through the provision of information, training, on site mentoring and networking with other agencies to increase levels of support to services. The Network operates at local, regional, cross border and national levels with both voluntary and statutory agencies. The BCCN has played a key role in supporting the development and implementation of the Síolta and Aistear frameworks.

    Speaker Profiles

    Dr. Ann Higgins

    Ann Higgins graduated from Mary Immaculate College in 1980 with a B. Ed degree. She worked within the primary school sector in a DEIS band 1 school for many years. In 1985 she left classroom teaching for a number of years and set up a school-based Community Project, namely, Kileely Community Project, which is a grass roots response to the learning needs of adults and young people. This evolved into a community learning centre offering learning opportunities and support to young people and adults within the community. This project has featured in national and international publications and is the subject of Ann’s PhD, ‘My School, Your School, Our School: Celebrating the Transformation of a Primary School into a Community Learning Centre, 1985-2005’. Ann returned to teaching for a number of years and worked as a principal of a DEIS band 1 primary school before joining the staff of Mary Immaculate College in 1998 where she worked as co-ordinator of the Transforming Education through Dialogue (TED) Project.

    Ms. Mary McLoughlin

    Ms. Mary McLoughlin is Principal Officer in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, with responsibility for the Early Years Strategy, the three childcare schemes (ECCE, CETS & CCS) and for developing policy in relation to Early Years Care and Education. Previous responsibilities relating to children include Youth Affairs, Child Protection and Adoption.

    Dr. Alan Doran

    Dr. Alan Doran works as the Principal Clinical Psychology Manager for the Co. Meath HSE Area. He has worked for the last thirteen years in the area of Child and Adolescent Primary Care. Prior to that, he worked in Adult Mental Health. He is Chair of the Jigsaw Meath Project, a multi-agency Youth Mental Health Initiative and he is the current Chair of Heads of Psychology Services Ireland. His clinical areas of interest include childhood developmental disorders and the Promotion of Mental Health in Young People.

    Dr. Richard Webb

    Dr. Richard Webb of Playground Management Services is a registered playground safety inspector with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). He has been inspecting playgrounds for most local authorities in Ireland for 15 years and runs certified training courses in playground inspection and maintenance. Richard is a founder member of Sugradh, a voluntary body promoting the child’s right to play and represents Ireland on the Council of the International Play Association. He also provides guidance and advice on the design of Outdoor Play Facilities. Richard is a past president of the Irish Landscape Institute.

    Ms. Ulrike Falcini

    Ms. Ulrike Falcini is a State trained Educator from Germany and has been a Steiner Waldorf Early Years teacher for last 27 years. Ulrike has specialised in working with children from birth to 6 years old. She moved to Ireland in 1997 and has her own Steiner Kindergarten in Cork. Ulrike completed an Early Childhood degree in UCC and is currently studying for a Phd. The focus of her research is on Comparing and Contrasting the Play Possibilities for Children Spending Break Time in two Different Settings: a Concrete yard versus a Natural Environment. As part of this study, a break time yard has been planned and designed by children of the infant classes in a primary boys school in Cork.

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