Trinity’s nursery, the oldest on-site workplace creche in Ireland, celebrated its 50th anniversary today with a gathering in Regent House.
The creche, set up in 1969, currently cares for up to 52 children between the ages of three months and five years old.
Today in Regent House, guests were greeted with decorations made by nursery staff and children, including stencil art pieces created by the country’s future artists.
Geraldine Ruane, Trinity’s chief operating officer, said in her welcome address: “With so many services in Dublin now only taking children from 12 months upwards, the Day Nursery stands out and continues to listen to and support families in their return to education and work by catering for children in the earliest stages of their life.”
Prof Clodagh Brook, an associate professor in Italian and College’s newly appointed vice-provost for equality, diversity and inclusion, said the nursery is “of strategic importance to Trinity”.
She said the nursery “plays a key role in supporting Trinity’s goals for gender balance under Athena SWAN”, and added that the “ fantastic work at the nursery supports parents in returning to work and developing their careers, as well as enabling students to carry on with their studies”.
One child, responding to a question about what they wanted to be when they grew up, said: “I don’t yet, I’m a child” – a line that drew a great laugh from those assembled.
Teresa Heeney, the chief operating officer of Early Childhood Ireland – which represents 3,800 childcare members – congratulated staff and families associated with the creche.
Alesya and Matthew Moore, whose two children have attended the nursery over the past number of years, said that “knowing our children are close by and in the care of such loving, caring and talented professionals made the journey through college so much easier”.
“We are certain that the Nursery has provided our boys with the best possible start in life and has helped them develop into the bright, curious, polite and independent young boys they are today.”