Carrieann Belton takes the helm as acting co-ordinator for Longford County Childcare Committee

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Carrieann Belton

Carrieann Belton is the newly appointed Acting Co-ordinator at Longford County Childcare Committee.

This week, Carrieann Belton has taken up new her role as Acting Co-ordinator of Longford County Childcare Committee (LCCC).

Ms Belton, has been working in management within the Early Years sector for the last nine years in Co Longford.

Born and raised in New York City, the new acting co-ordinator is married to Ardagh native Gavin Belton and together the couple has three children.

She is very involved in her local community in Ardagh and feels fortunate that the County possesses, as she says, herself “such a high level of quality Early Years Services and Educators”.

Ms Belton also feels that she has a lot of experience and ideas to bring to the table in her new role at LCCC.

“In Longford this year we have a number of services who have completed the National Siolta Aistear Initiative. Currently we are nearing the end of LCCC’s delivery of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion guidelines training (DCYA) with an 84 percentage uptake in the county,” she explained, before pointing out that there had been an “encouraging” uptake of participants on the National Linc Programme under the AIM Initiative - a national led initiative to provide parents with access and supports.

“Next month, Longford will see our first group of Early Years Educators graduate with a Bachelors of Arts Honours Degree in Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 8) with Carlow IT in conjunction with the Longford Women’s Link (LWL) and well done to these graduates for their hard work and dedication to the Early Years sector.

“These Educators are truly dedicated to their vocation and I am pleased to announce that this degree programme will be recommencing again in September for all those interested in attaining a higher level degree in Early Years Education.”

There is an information session on the degree programme on Thursday, May 3 at 7pm in Longford Women's Link.

Meanwhile, over the last nine years, the new acting coordinator says she has watched the quality of care and education in the Early Years sector grow tremendously.

This, she adds, is primarily due to the educators on the ground and the various services that provide quality learning environments, family and child supports as well as ensuring the childcare government funded programmes are operated in line with DCYA guidelines.

“In addition,” continued Ms Belton, “the adhering to TUSLA Early Years Regulations and the Department of Education and Skills Focused Inspections has provided a strong robust framework for the Early Years sector to operate within.”

She says that her vision for Early Years education in Co Longford is to continue the forward planning momentum in line with national policies and legislations.

“I also want to ensure that every child has access to a quality Early Years experience and that their identity and voice is heard and respected,” she added.

I am excited for this new venture and looking
forward to working alongside our Early Years educators

“Longford County Childcare Committee will continue to improve and expand on our excellent relationships with our local interagency groups and we will also continue to work collaboratively on a national level with the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, Pobal, TUSLA, Department of Education & Skills, Early Childhood Ireland, Barnados, NCCA and many more.

“I am excited for this new venture and looking forward to working alongside our Early Years educators, children and their families and the wider community of Co Longford.

“I also want to take the opportunity to congratulate Lorraine Farrell on her new role as the National Aistear Coordinator with NCCA.”

Longford County Childcare Committee can be reached on Facebook and on Twitter @LChildcare and also at www.longfordchildcare.ie.

Read next:

Longford Women's Link appoints new chairperson