Playroup praised for ‘outstanding’ work

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STAFF AT a local playgroup have been acknowledged for their continuous hard work and dedication to educating young children following a glowing report from the Department of Education.

Jack and Jill Playgroup, which is situated on Loy Street in Cookstown, has been providing intrinsic pre-school education to local young children for over 20 years.

Having recently come through a thorough and intense inspection by the department, the cross-community playgroup received an excellent report which praised the work of its staff and the development of all 24 children attending.

The group’s management committee and staff say they are overwhelmed by the accolade, even more so as this is the second time the group have achieved such success.

Head of the Pre-School Sheena Devlin, said: “We are delighted and very proud with the result of our inspection. We at Jack and Jill Playgroup are committed to the development and success of our pre-school centre.

“We work hard to ensure that all our children receive the highest standard of pre-school education.

“It is most rewarding to receive such an excellent report and to be commended for our efforts.”

The report found that Jack and Jill Playgroup “are meeting very effectively the educational and pastoral needs of the children and has demonstrated its capacity for sustained self-improvement”.

The last inspection that the group received was in May 2005, and owing to the success of the recent inspection, the inspectors again will not return for another five years.

Parents were delighted with the news and the report findings. One parent said: “In my opinion, Jack and Jill Playgroup is the best pre-school for any child. I would highly recommended it, they have very friendly and approachable staff with excellent facilities.”

Another said: “I am extremely pleased with the service and care provided to my daughter.

“Staff are very welcoming and friendly and my child loves going to school. I couldn’t ask for anything more for my child.”

Tony Quinn, Chairperson for the Management Committee, said: “We at Jack and Jill Playgroup will strive to maintain our high standards and quality provision.

“We have a comprehensive development plan in place which reflects our focus and intent to maintain and indeed improve the quality of provision in coming years.

“Jack and Jill Management Committee are fortunate to have a great professional team of staff employed in our pre-school centre.”

The report described the playgroup’s pastoral care as “outstanding” and said the leader was an “excellent role model in all aspects of the centre’s provision and is effectively supported by the highly motivated and skilled staff team”.

It also highlighted the development of children’s personal and social skills and their language and communication skills, which were described as particular strengths of the provision.