Five childcare services from Kildare to be presented with Learning Story & Innovation Awards from Early Childhood Ireland


Five childcare services from Kildare to be presented with Learning Story & Innovation Awards from Early Childhood Ireland

at Awards Ceremony on 18th June in the Gibson Hotel Dublin -

Two of which Toddlers Lodge Preschool and Tots Preschool both in Newbridge are shortlisted for overall national award


Five Kildare based childcare services – three from Newbridge, one from Maynooth and one from Naas -  will be presented with Learning Story and Innovation Awards from Early Childhood Ireland for their success in child centred play based learning and innovation in early childhood care and education at an awards ceremony on Saturday 18 June at 7pm in the Gibson Hotel, Point Village, Dublin. 

Two of these Kildare services namely Toddlers Lodge Preschool and Tots Preschool both in Newbridge have been shortlisted for an overall national award, while another Early Days Montessori Playgroup, Kilmeague Village, Naas has won two awards – one for its Learning Story and the other an Innovation Award.  

Their collective stories and innovations which range from hoglet hibernation to imaginary train journeys to the pyramids, a story of inclusion sparked by a child’s walking aid, capturing leprechauns, passports and technology nature trails are all showcased on for parents and early childhood educators to enjoy.   


Toddlers Lodge Preschool, Newbridge for “All Aboard Oisin’s Train” a learning story starting with Oisin’s adventure driving a real train with his Daddy, with the experience spiraling into an adventure for all the children using their imagination to create a train of their own called “Santa’s Polar Express” bringing them on a journey to far off places like the pyramids in Egypt and the Zoo in Dublin!

Tots Creche and Daycare, Newbridge for “Look at Nadia’s New Toy” a strong about inclusion as Nadia brings in an interesting piece of equipment sparking curiosity, with the children coming to realize that Nadia needed this aid to help her walk.  This experience helped them to reflect on their own differences – Nadia has a walking aid, Noah has spikey hair, Isabelle has glasses and Aoibhinn has brown hair that makes them all different to each other, thus making the environment more inclusive.

Tots Creche and Daycare, Newbridge also won another Learning Story Award for “Rainbows, Boobytraps and Leprechauns” a learning story that starts with a nursery rhyme about a tricky leprechaun that evolves into a story about a world of wonder and surprise as Sean Seamus, the Leprechaun, became an active member of the group.  Although the children began by making a trap to catch him, they soon came to see him as a friend.

Giggles Playgroup, Newbridge for “Blaze the Hoglet comes to Playschool” a welcome visitor who came wandering in one Friday evening and received lots of attention from the children helping to get him back on track for his long Hibernation.  The children created a beautiful house for Blaze, learnt all about what he likes to eat and really cared for him, with the wish that Blaze comes back to visit them again next spring after his well-earned rest.

Kidz@play, Maynooth for “Ana’s Passport” a learning story which starts with Ana’s excitement as her mum tells her they are going on holidays and having checked out what a passport looks like, Ana decides she needs to make one for herself.  Luckily the “man at the airport” let her through so she was able to continue on her journey to Spain, where she saw a green lake, with a guess who lives there dimension to the story.

Early Days Montessori Playgroup, Kilmeague Village, Naas for “Little Gardeners” a learning story sparked by the abundance of acorns, leaves, conkers and sycamore seeds in the classroom, with the children demonstrating their vase knowledge of technology by informing the educators how to go about getting information on the phone and laptop about these nature resources.  This research led to experiments and the growth of news possibilities in nature. 

Sinead and the team from Early Days Montessori Playgroup have also won an Innovation Award in Health & Well Being based on their “Lelly and Lou” characters who lead the way in everything from healthy eating to tooth brushing, while the children feel and association with the characters.  This was seen as an exciting new approach to really engaging children on their level, using such imaginative characters with really important messages.  Lelly and Lou became the group characters who shared their emotions with the children, offered solutions to problems and featured constantly in the children’s play, stories and art.


According to Dr. Carmel Brennan of Early Childhood Ireland,

  This is a very special night to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work done by early childhood educators nationwide and Kildare has the lion’s share of Learning Story and Innovation Awardees this year!  Through these learning stories and innovations, which I’d really encourage more parents and early years educators to read and enjoy, we get a real insight into how the most effective play and learning experience is child led and evolves into an experience steeped in learning and fun.   It’s also a timely reminder for families with children due to start preschool in September of the wonderful play based curriculum in action, with all these winning learning stories showcased on now.