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Trinity's Day Nursery bucks the trend

Published May 23rd, 2017

We tend to associate high staff turnover with the childcare industry yet Trinity’s Day Nursery is bucking the trend, with several enduring staff members, one of whom has been here for 35 years.

Aoife Cox, Day Nursery manager, admits that this is unusual within the industry. “The nursery has long-serving staff which would not be the norm in my experience of the childcare sector.”

Among those who have clocked up several years’ service are Marguerita Coughlan (35 years) and Alison Dunne (29 years). Alison is even now in the situation where children she looked after years ago are returning with their own offspring.

“That makes me feel old! But seriously, it’s lovely to see past pupils come back. They must have enjoyed their time here and have happy memories of the place.”

Alison doesn’t think that kids have changed much during this time. “Children back then and nowadays are the same in that they like to play with their friends, try new things and be entertained.” The only real difference is that the equipment has become more high-tech.

Having such a committed staff is the real secret to the nursery’s success, says Alison. “Having an experienced staff makes a huge difference. Seeing the same faces really puts the parents at ease.”

Aoife Cox concurs. “The staff here are really committed to the children and they develop very strong bonds with the children and their families.”

However the parents get special mention too. “We have a great bunch of parents who use our service and they are really supportive – for example with charity fundraising and helping to establish a parents’ reps committee.”

In 2019 the Day Nursery, which was the first on-site workplace nursery in Ireland, will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Its inception back then, according to a Trinity News archive from the early 1970s, came about “when it was discovered that while lecturers and students attended college the children were being left in cars for a few hours”!

Whether this is true or journalistic licence, these days Trinity’s Day Nursery takes care of up to 52 children, from the age of three months to four-and-a-half-years, and student parents are given first refusal for places over staff.

If you are a parent whose child is due to go there soon you will no doubt take comfort from Aoife Cox’s words: “When children are first settling in the nursery the transition can be difficult. We have a few well-established parents who will make themselves available to have a coffee with the new parents and reassure them, parent to parent, that it will get easier.”

  • To find out more about Trinity’s Day Nursery services click here.