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Friday, September 22, 2023

Northside creche will not reopen until next year, leaving 100 families without childcare 

A northside creche will not reopen before next year, leaving around 14 staff members without jobs and 100 families in the area without childcare. 

Staff at Before 5 in Churchfield, some of whom have worked there for more than 20 years, were informed last month that the centre was closing with immediate effect.

The centre, which has provided preschool childcare for five decades, employed 14 people and had preschool spaces for up to 100 children, but local people have stressed that Before 5, which also provides a homework club and adult classes, is a vital part of the community.

In recent weeks, it was revealed that Northside Community Enterprises (NCE) was to take over running the childcare facility, in a building owned by the local Catholic diocese.

However, in an updated statement issued on Tuesday, NCE confirmed that “it will be at least 2024 before the service will be in a position to open” due to necessary survey works and subsequent maintenance works on the building.

“We have engaged a project management company and we are in the process of appointing consultants to carry out a condition survey of the building to identify any upgrade works needed to allow the building to open,” a spokesperson for NCE stated. 

“This is necessary to address maintenance items and to improve certain aspects of fire safety, so that we can fully meet all compliance obligations under building regulations, fire safety regulations and Tusla regulations.

“It is expected that the report on the condition survey will be completed in October 2023. 

“We will then have a full understanding of the scope of works that need to be completed to allow us to open for the community. It is envisaged at this stage that the works will be extensive, but we will know more once the condition survey report is finished. It will be at least 2024 before the service will be in a position to open,” the spokesperson added.

“We would ask for your patience and understanding at this time and rest assured we are working as hard as possible to get the service open as quickly as possible. 

“In preparation for the opening of the childcare service we will be holding an open recruitment process, further details will be circulated but again this will be in 2024. Once we have definite opening dates for the childcare service, we will then explore the operation of adult education classes, school aged childcare, play therapy and other services that would be of benefit to the community.”

NCE also asked parents/guardians to register their interest with Cork City Childcare by phoning 021 4310500 or emailing [email protected] and give the required information. 

“We understand that some families are looking for childcare immediately and we would ask that you would reach out to Cork City Childcare who will do their upmost to support you to find alternative childcare,” the spokesperson added. 

“Once we have more information, we will continue to keep you updated. Again, we would like to thank you for all your support and patience during this process.”

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