Cherish Sure Start

Sure Start is built around the wants and needs of local people. Our aim is to improve the well-being of life opportunities for young children aged under 4 through better health, childcare, play and educational programmes, from the moment of conception.

CHERISH is one of thirty eight Sure Starts in Northern Ireland, selected by the Government to pilot this new initiative. The CHERISH Sure Start Initiative covers the following wards, Irvinestown, Lisnarick, Kesh, Ederney & Lack, Trillick, Ballinamallard, Devenish, Roslea and Newtownbutler. In adddion, we have expanded into new ward areas of Portora, Erne and Lisnaskea.

These areas were chosen because of their rural isolation. Sure Start will address the issue of rural isolation by bringing services and facilities into these areas, allowing approximately 1,600 children access to Sure Start services.

Development Programme For 2-3 Year Olds

The 2-year programme commenced in 2007, after an announcement by the Secretary of state as part of the children and Young People package 2006-2008.

We are all aware of the impact of a first experience and how that first impression stays with us and defines how we think or feel about something or someone.  For many children the Developmental Programme for 2-3 Years Olds will be their first experience of a learning environment with other children and with an educator other than their parent.  The impression your child forms at this stage will influence your child’s ability to enjoy learning and achieving now and in the future.

The Programme focuses on the importance of learning through a play based approach to development and understanding. The programme will focus on play in group settings to enhance children’s social and emotional development, build on their communication and language skills, promote physical development and encourage intellectual growth. The programme is constructed not just with a view to preparation for the next stage for children but rather as part of the child’s natural process.

Parents are required to agree to the following.

  • To attend Information session for Parents.  These may include language development workshops, healthy eating workshops, potty training workshops etc.
  • To attend regular stay and play sessions with your child where parents will have the opportunity to experience firsthand the many activities and challenges their child is participating in.
  • To facilitate regular home visits from a trained staff member involved in the delivery of the programme. This will enable you to extend the learning experiences your child enjoys in the programme in the comfort of the home environment.
  • To ensure your child attends a minimum of 80% of the sessions.

2YOP operates throughout the School year.  Where possible the programme runs for 7.5horus per week.  There are currently 60 places available – 24 in Newtownbutler, 24 in Irvinestown and 12 in Enniskillen.  Next enrolment date is April 2015 for September 2015 intake.  Criteria can be obtained from contacting the office.

Stay & Play (2YOP)

Each month staff on the P2OP provides an innovative stay & plays session so that parents can come along and spend quality time with their child and enjoy the play activities together whilst learning about the value of play.

Speech & Language Screening

All children attending 2YOP are screened using the WELLCOMM Toolkit.  The toolkit is suitable for use by noon-specialist early years professionals in identifying children who need immediate referral and support.  It is suitable for children aged 6mths-6years.  The toolkit provides tailored intervention activities that can improve language skills, whatever age or ability of the child.  It helps reduce unnecessary costly referrals to Speech & Language Therapy services.  All children on the 2YOP are screened in October and a weekly programme of support is put in place for each child.