How We Started
We were originally funded as a pilot project by the National Lottery for 3 years. As this service proved to be a very valuable service to families of the Dublin 15 area, this recognition resulted in HSE now known as TUSLA funding Home-Start Blanchardstown to-date.
We are a registered Charity and our core funding comes from TUSLA. This means that we are commissioned to provide family support to parents of young children both in their own homes and in our respite creche here at Home-Start Blanchardstown. In 1998, with the help of the Department of Social Welfare, we purchased our own premises on the Blakestown Road.
Purchased Our Own Premises
Respite Creche Opened
In 2002 Anna set up the National Office to try to expand Home-Start. Joan Ashbrook, who was a volunteer, took over the day to day running of the Blanchardstown Home-Start service. Cathy Kelly was the administrative assistant and was joined by Denise McQuaid in 2006. Sadly due lack of funding the National Closed its doors in 2008.
In 2002 we applied for and received a grant from The People In Need to build a creche facility. We also received the remaining funding from ECOP the European Union Funding to complete the project.
In 2003 we opened our respite creche. The creche manager is Ann Murray. Initially we opened for 3 hours a day but this soon turned in to 4 hours a day and then extended to the afternoons. Our service is referral based which can consist of Public Health Nurses, General Practitioners, Social Workers, other agencies e.g. Barnardo’s, Oakridge, Early Intervention and Self referrals.
As the creche is funded by the Pobal (Government Supporting Communities) Subvention Programme, we open from 9.15 to 1.15 for children ages ranging from 4mths to 2.08mths and then from 1.30 to 4.30 for ECCE children ages from 2.08mths to 5years 5 afternoons a week. Our creche facility here at Home-Start Blanchardstown offers respite tailored to the needs of the family and his respite can be provided from 2/3 days up to 5 days if required.
In conjunction with our service, we offer the Parents Plus programme to all new parents. This allows the parents to make connections with peers, helping to breakdown isolation and build confidence.
Ann and her team are committed to ensuring that the needs of the child are the first priority and accessing the relevant services as needed both for Parents and children.
Joan Ashbrook has retired as Co-ordinator of the service after dedicating twenty eight years to Home-Start both in her capacity as a volunteer and then moving on to be the Co-ordinator for the past eighteen years.
Cathy Kelly has taken over as Co-ordinator for Volunteers and Family Liason of our Service. Antoinette Sweeney joined us in September 2019 and is our Administrative Assistant.
Ann Murray stepped into the role of both Creche and Service Manager in April 2019, Continuing to support our Families and Team on a day to day basis.
Our Creche Team is made up of our four Early Years Educator leads: Julietta Ayegbusi, Emily Kiely, Olufunke Are, Marie Doorley and our fantastic team of both Community Employment and TUS Early Years Educators and our Caretaker Turlough who takes great pride in looking after our premises.
We are also very fortunate to have the services of Suzanne Gutmann Play therapist who is invaluable to our Service in occasionally working with the Children and Families of Home-Start Blanchardstown.
Under Our Umbrella
Meet Our Team
Cathy Kelly – Volunteer Coordinator/Family Liaison
Ann Murray – Creche/Service Manager
Antoinette Sweeney – Administrator
Emily Kiely – Lead Early Years Educator