"Childcare is now undoubtedly a significant factor in the way many Irish children live, learn and grow," added Minister Cullen.

Enjoying the celebrations of the official opening of St Brigid’s Children Centre with Krusty the Clown and some of the centre’s young users were, from left: John Nolan (Children Centre staff member), Ger Lanigan (Children Centre Manager) and Isobel Lennon-Power (Children Centre staff member).| Photo: Shane O’Neill

A new purpose built children’s centre located on Hennessy’s Road was officially opened on Friday last by Minister Martin Cullen.

St Brigid’s Children Centre, which is part of Saint



































































































































































































































































































































Brigid’s Family and Community Centre, was blessed by the Reverends Gerry Chestnutt, Trevor Lester and John Parker during a short ecumenical ceremony.

Described by Minister Cullen as “a wonderful addition to the community”, the centre offers what it describes as “affordable, accessible and inclusive care in a child focused environment where children can have fun, play and learn under the care of dedicated staff”.

“Childcare is now undoubtedly a significant factor in the way many Irish children live, learn and grow,” added Minister Cullen.

“The centre has been made possible though substantial funding under the Government’s and Pobal’s Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme.

“The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has also contributed to the project as has the Family Support Agency and Waterford City Council. It will also receive ongoing support from the Government’s Community Childcare Subvention Scheme to carry out its activities.”

The centre, which first opened its doors on September 22nd last year, employs eight full-time staff and currently caters for 28 children every morning.

Welcoming the opening of the centre and speaking of his delight at having Minister Cullen present four days after his helicopter ordeal, Mayor of Waterford Jack Walsh said the centre “epitomises cohesion at its best”.

He added: “At St Brigid’s, local needs are met through collaboration innovation and creativity.

“The collaborative effort of agencies and organisations such as Waterford City Council, Focus Ireland, St Brigid’s and the HSE as well as the kind generosity of the Good Shepherd Sisters has resulted in a community-based quality childcare service”.

Centre Director described the official opening of the centre as “the beginning of a new adventure for St Brigid’s.”

Stated Mr Hickey, who also thanked Falconer Architects, Nolan Ryan Tweed and Lambert Construction: “We have the facilities, excellent staff and right ideas to deliver a quality service to children and parents in the inner city”.

St Brigid’s co-ordinator Anne Goodwin said the centre’s business was centred on community development and family support.

“We provide experience and learning opportunities appropriate to each child’s stage of development and focus on the holistic development of the child as well as involving parents in all aspects of the service and their children’s education.”