About us

About

Little Hands

Little Hands Montessori and Afterschool Care was founded by Helen Mannion in 2002. Helen has over 20 years’ experience in childcare. In 2002, Helen opened her first service in Cahergal, a purpose built creche. We were the first preschool in Ireland to be awarded the Green Flag for recycling and reusing and have since received six Green Flags. In 2013, Helen opened her second service located in Donaghpatrick N.S., Caherlistrane. In 2015, Helen opened in Annagh Hill N.S., Ballyglunin. Helen expanded her Cahergal service by opening an additional room in Cahergal N.S. in 2017, which caters for afterschool children and children in their second year of preschool. Helen has always provided a hands-on approach in ensuring a high quality of care and education is provided in each of her services.

Our Locations

We have 4 full daycare services across County Galway. We are located in Cahergal, Cahergal N.S, Donaghpatrick N.S (Caherlistrane) and Annagh Hill N.S (Ballyglunin). All our services are fully equipped with age-appropriate equipment for learning and play. Each of our services have a large and secure outdoor area for all children to enjoy. We have a highly experienced and fully qualified team of staff who provide a safe, inclusive, and nurturing environment for all children. We provide a home from home environment to children aged 2 years to 12 years. We offer full time day care (7am-6pm), part-time day care (9am-2pm), sessional ECCE (9.15am-12.15pm), breakfast club (7am-9am) and afterschool club (2pm-6pm). Children have the option to wear a uniform during the school term for preschool. The uniforms consist of a yellow polo shirt and a red sweatshirt. These are not mandatory, but some parents/children prefer them. They can be purchased online through the following link or in store at The Schoolwear Centre. https://www.theschoolwearcentre.ie/product/little-hands-sweatshirt/

Our Services

We offer the ECCE scheme. The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. Children can start ECCE when they are 2 years and 8 months of age and continue until they transfer to primary school. Children can avail of 2 years free preschool (9.15am-12.15pm), 15 hours per week. We also support the The National Childcare Scheme (NCS). This can be used to avail of extra hours outside of ECCE, such as full daycare, part time daycare and afterschool. The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) is a new scheme that provides financial support to parents and awards a subsidy which is deducted from the bill. You can apply for the National Childcare Scheme through the following link to get money off your weekly bill. https://www.ncs.gov.ie/en/

Our staff

Helen Mannion

Little Hands Montessori and Afterschool Care was founded by Helen Mannion in 2002. Helen has over 20 years’ experience in childcare. Helen has 4 children, she would often help in their nursery and preschool as a helper while they were growing up in London and Ireland, before deciding to complete her studies in Early Childhood Education. From this Helen gained a lot of experience of how children learn and she has aimed to create environments which facilitate this. In 2002, Helen opened her first preschool when all her children had progressed to primary school. Helen has always provided a hands-on approach in ensuring a high quality of care and education is provided in each of her services. Helen completed The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme, LINC course in 2016 and has the role of the Inclusion Co-ordinator within her services.

Brenda

Brenda is the manager in our junior preschool at Cahergal. She has worked for Little Hands for 3 years. Brenda has 19 years’ of experience in the childcare sector. Brenda has a Fetac Level 6 in Montessori Education. She ran her own childcare service from her home for 3 years which consisted of a Montessori classroom in the morning and a childminding service in the afternoon. Brenda also worked in Perth, Australia as a kindergarten teacher for 4 years and incorporated the Early Years Learning Frame (EYLF) which is similar to Aistear. She is caring and professional at all times and has a genuine love for children.

Shalini

Shalini works in our junior preschool and full day care service. She has worked with Little Hands for 2 years. Shalini loves working with children and watching them grow and progress within their environment. She finds it very fulfilling to support a child’s development. Shalini completed Fetac Level 5 in Early Childhood Care and Education, First Aid Responder, HACCP, Fire Safety and Manual Handling and Children’s First training. Shalini is very caring and has a genuine love for children.

Lynda

Lynda is the manager in our service in Cahergal National School. She has been working with us for 6 years. She began working at Little Hands in 2015. Lynda has over 17 years’ experience working with children. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education. Lynda began working in our junior preschool and moved up to our senior preschool in Cahergal National School in 2017. She also works in our breakfast club and afterschool club. Lynda is wonderful with children and always puts the child’s interests first.

Elaine

Elaine also works in our service in Cahergal National School. She started working in the childcare sector in 2015 and has worked with children from the ages of 2 – 12 years. She has a wide range of experience with different roles including ECCE room leader, afterschool carer and deputy manager. Elaine joined our team in 2019 and has enjoyed working with the staff and children. Elaine completed Fetac Level 6 in Early Childhood Care and Education Supervision, First Aid Responder, Sensory Processing and Diversity, Equality and Inlusion training. Elaine is a proud mum to a three year old girl who has just finished her first year of preschool at Little Hands. Elaine is expecting her 2nd child in October and will be on maternity leave for the coming year.

Lisa

Lisa has worked with Little Hands throughout the last 5 years, starting when she was a student working as relief cover and during summers and college breaks. Lisa started working full time following the completion of her degree. She works in both of our Cahergal services and in the afterschool club in Caherlistrane. She completed her Level 8 BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education in May 2020. She has since completed courses in First Aid, Children's First Training, Manual Handling and Fire Safety, HACCP and Sensory Processing. She is currently completing The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme, LINC course. Lisa is caring and enjoys watching each child grow and develop into confident and competent individuals.

Darina

Darina is our manager at Little Hands, Donaghpatrick N.S, Caherlistrane. Darina began working with us in September 2016. She has over 10 years’ experience in childcare and finds working with children very rewarding. Throughout her experience, she has had the opportunity to watch each child develop through their own milestones and see their happy smiles when they accomplish their own goals. She values her role in enabling each child to become independent learners and readily transition into primary school. Darina has a Level 8 degree in Early Childhood Education.

Rosie

Rosie has worked with Little Hands for 5 years. She has 7 years’ experience in childcare as well as having her own children. Rosie works with our preschool children and aims to help them prepare for primary school. She has completed Fetac Level 6 in Early Childhood and has also completed The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme, LINC course. She has worked in a range of different roles and has experience of working with children with additional needs.

Sharon

Sharon works in our breakfast club, preschool and afterschool club. She began working at Little Hands in July 2021. She has 9 years’ experience of working in childcare. She has completed her Fetac level 5 and QQI Level 6 in Early Childhood Education. Sharon is enthusiastic, caring and she has a genuine love for children.

Alice

Alice is our manager in Annagh Hill. She started working in Little Hands in March 2020. She completed her QQI Level 6 in Early Childhood Education in 2019 and has since completed The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme, LINC course. She currently works in our Senior Preschool Room to help prepare the children for primary school and she also works with school aged children in breakfast club and afterschool. She has 3 years’ experience in working with children and she has worked with children from aged 6 months to 12 years. Alice is very professional and approachable and can be contacted with any queries.

Geraldine

Geraldine started working in Little Hands in 2015 when she completed her work experience, before joining full time after completion of her studies in 2019. She completed her Fetac level 5 and QQI Level 6 in Early Childhood Education. She has completed a range of CPD courses such as play therapy, hannen teacher, Children’s First and Sensory Processing. Geraldine also has a degree in Business Management. Geraldine also works in our senior preschool room and in our afterschool club. Geraldine is caring and has a genuine love for children.

Helen

Helen works in our junior preschool room in Annagh Hill. She qualified in 2019 and completed her QQI Level 6 in Early Childhood and Special Needs Assisting. She has 3 years’ experience in childcare and she has 5 children of her own from the ages of 17 years down to 3 years. She has worked with Little Hands since September 2020. She is caring, very motived and works well within our team.

Mary

Mary works in our junior preschool at Cahergal. She has over 20 years experience in the childcare sector. She began working with Little Hands in September 2020 and she worked in our Caherlistrane service before recently taking up a position in our Cahergal service. Mary has completed her Fetac Level 5 in Early Childhood. She has also completed many continuous professional development courses such as Children’s First, First Aid and Fire Safety. Mary is caring and provides a safe and warm environment for the children. She has a love working with children and she works well as a part of our team.

Caroline

Caroline works as an AIM Support Worker in Annagh Hill. She assists children with additional needs and ensures an inclusive learning environment is provided. She must ensure each child’s needs, development and well-being are supported within the setting while ensuring their learning goals are met. Caroline has worked in Little Hands since January 2020. She has completed QQI Level 5 in Early Childhood Care and Education and also completed a Special Needs Assistant course. She has also completed training in Paediatric First Aid, HACCP, Fire Safety and Manual Handling. Caroline is kind, caring and passionate about providing quality care for all children.