Little Smarties is a community pre-school and school age childcare service in a small rural village in Pettigo, Co. Donegal. We are extremely lucky where the building is situated as we can take the children for walks along the river, skimming stones and also go splashing in muddy puddles in the nearby forest. There is a small workforce consisting of four very hardworking and dedicated girls who are so devoted in meeting the needs of each child that enters the building. We have spent the last four years building up the reputation of the playschool and making it known to other local areas.
Little Smarties is now known as a playschool & afterschool that provides a high standard of care but that we as staff go above and beyond to provide activities and experiences that children & parents will be in awe off. The staff have spent lots of extra hours setting up activities/ role plays so that the children will get a nice surprise when they arrive in the mornings e.g. an airport role play, spa day, ice cream parlour, building site, camp out in the forest with yummy toasted marshmallows and many more.
Last year we worked closely with the local community and had many different people visit the playschool and we ourselves have went on outings to local landmarks e.g. a local farmer who left a baby lamb in for the day, we went out on a boat with the kids to Lough Derg Island and had a picnic, Paul Kelly who is a local Country singer along with Declan Colton provided a party in our playground with music and dancing for the kids, A local rally driver called with his ‘cool’ car and each year we visit the day care centre at Christmas to sing songs which goes down a treat.
With the success of these role plays and each child’s interest being valued along with a very close partnership with parents we now have children coming from Pettigo, Kesh, Ederney and Belleek which has made a huge difference.
Due to the small population of the village the Little Smarties staff, Board of Directors & parents often have to fundraise to keep on top of the running of the service. This takes a lot of time and dedication from everyone but it’s all worth it to keep this playschool from closing its doors.
The thing we love to hear form parents/ community is that you must love your job and that is so true for us four girls. We love coming up with ideas and seeing the little smiles on the children’s faces (plus we are like BIG kids ourselves)