The experience of being homeless is deeply traumatic for children and their parents, homelessness itself is traumatic and puts families in situations where they are at greater risk of additional traumatic experiences.
Sophia recognises this and has a dedicated qualified childcare team working in our Nurturing Centres. The Nurturing Centres provides support, care and educational experiences that enables children to grow and develop as confident competent learners.
In our dedicated Nurturing Centres in Donabate and Cork St, Sophia provides support to the families living in Sophia tenancies. We also provide support to families living in emergency accommodation and children and families from the local community
In total 48 children and families were supported by Sophia Nurturing Centres through Early Years Service and School Age services in 2019
The St John of God early years group continued to work with our Nurturing
Centre in Cork St taking part in drama classes.
Sophia is committed to providing a safe, high quality, hygienic, stimulating and caring environment where children can develop their full potential, physically, intellectually, linguistically, emotionally, socially and morally.
It aims to attain this by providing a range of activities in a flexible, assessable environment where awareness of the children’s culture will be respected and resourced. The children will be offered choice and opportunity to discover and learn through play in a supportive professional environment.
To enable all children to feel safe, secure and happy while in our care.
To be respectful of all children and to encourage children to develop self-respect and respect for others.
To be aware of each child's individual needs.
To develop good relationships with parents/guardians and recognise that they are the primary carers of their children and in sharing care it is essential to share information about the children.
To recognise and respect each child's right to play and choice
Sophia’s Nurturing Centres are the children’s own space, a space where all they need to be is a child. We place huge importance on the children being able to see themselves in each centre, where their identity, family and sense of belonging is on show. Our nurturing centres not only work to support the child but they also support each parent, valuing them.
Cork St Nurturing Centre
Located in a purpose-built facility in Sophia's Cork St Project, the Cork St Nurturing Centre provides preschool services 5 mornings a week for children aged 2 to 5 from both families onsite and from the wider local community. Afterschool services are also provided.
Our Cork St Nurturing Centre works with the St John of God early years group. The onsite cafe in Cork St also provides food and snacks to the pre-school children.
Donabate Nurturing Centre
Located in a purpose-built facility in Sophia’s Donabate Project, the Donabate Nurturing Centre provides Early Years services 5 mornings a week for children aged 1years to 5 years for Sophia families and families from the local community. Our curriculum approach is an emergent play base with elements of the High scope approach which provides enjoyable and challenging play experiences that supports children to grow and developed as competent and confident learners.
School Age services provides homework support to children and families, we provided a play based approach which builds on children interests and strengths which allows children to explore, investigate, to build knowledge and skills to support their learning and development.
The Donabate childcare team strives to meet the needs of all children and families and provides additional supports such as parent programmes, one to one parenting support, babies session, individual play sessions and family session. The childcare service is designed to meet the needs of the individual children and parents.
The Nurturing Centre provides a summer project. The aim of the summer project to provide opportunities to children and families to create memories.
In 2019 Sophia’s nurturing centres looking towards the Together Old and Young (TOY) Initiative set up Sophia’s Intergeneration Project.
The project brings together young children with older adults to learn and benefit from each others company. The project has clear benefits of learning together for both young and old and for communities at large. It creates usual understanding as some of the children we support have little or not contact with older relatives. The project crates improved feelings of wellbeing, decreased loneliness.
They were also successful in applying for a grant from Applegreen Ireland which meant that the project was able hire a Drama Teacher. Old and young took part in the drama classes and are hoping to build on this to produce a book of stories in the future. School age children took part in intergenerational gardening and horticulture workshops. In Dublin 8, the SICDA over 55 group which meets in Sophia Cork St, were also involved in the project
Toy Show Appeal Funding
In 2022, Sophia's Nurturing Centre's received funding from the RTE Toy Show Appeal that went towards proving extra support to children who have experienced homelessness in Dublin and Donabate. This funding will make a long-lasting positive impact on the children supported by our services.