Straidarran Community Playgroup was formed by a group of mothers recognising the need for a playgroup in the area. These mothers formed a committee, obtained approval from the Department of Health & Social Services and, after many fundraising events, opened the playgroup on 5th February 1979 with 6 children.
In February 2019 we celebrated our 40th Anniversary and then held a Coffee Evening for the local community including many past pupils, parents and staff members, in May 2019.
The Playgroup now provides for a maximum of 26 children daily. In 1988 we became part of the DENI
(Department of Education for NI) this is now the Education Authority, PEAGS programme and have for the last few years, been allocated the exact amount of free places we need each year.
In April 2019 we had our most recent DENI inspection, where we achieved Outstanding for our Outcomes for Learners and Very Good for Quality of Provision and Leadership and Management. We also received our overall effectiveness as “the organisation has a high level of capacity for sustained improvement in the interest of all the learners”
We attained our Early Years – The Organisation for Young Children, accreditation in May 2017. This was the 5th time in 15 years we had gained this award.
In June 2019 we were nominated for the first time for the family First awards and attended a Gala evening in the Titanic building, Belfast as part of these celebrations. We were the “Overall Winer of Best Playgroup” in our category.
In September 2019 we will attend the Families First celebration in the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor where we will be awarded the Gold Award for Services to Childcare. As you can imagine everyone at the playgroup is very proud of this new award and we look forward to the event.
We would just like to thank everyone who has supported us in any way over the last 40 years in helping us sustain and develop a preschool playgroup which has the children at the center of all that we do. Without these families and the community support we would not be here and it is testament to this support that we can celebrate our 40th Anniversary.
Straidarran Community Playgroup