IT has been ten years in the planning, but King’s Island finally has a state-of-the-art creche to the back of its community centre.
The new centre, which opened this morning, has been built with around €700,000 worth of money from Pobail, as well as funding from the JP McManus foundation.
There are four rooms, allowing day care for 45 youngsters aged from three months to three years, primarily from across the King’s Island area, but also further afield. The facilities include a multi-purpose room, used for a variety of activities, for example arts and crafts, a room which will cater for nine babies, a transition room which will look after children who are awaiting their place in pre-school.
And a ‘wobbler’ room has also been built for children who are just beginning to walk.
Before today, the community creche was based in just two rooms at the King’s Island Community Centre, which meant they could only look after 18 children on a part-time basis.
But now full time care will be provided to 45 children, with the fees being means tested so those on the lowest incomes can take advantage.
Centre manager Deirdre McMahon said interest has already been high, with a waiting list in place.
Funding for the scheme was originally sought ten years ago. But the advent of the regeneration process slowed the process.
Deirdre explains: “We were expected to start building in 2007, but regeneration came along, and the council would not allow us build on the land, because they felt regeneration may have wanted the land for something else. Our money was decommissioned, and we had to fight for this for two years. But after some campaigning, we were told we would get our money back.”