Our Practice

We provide a unique programme of early years, pre-school and after-school childcare services. We use the latest in research and thinking to provide holistic, child-centred, individualised care for every child. Our goal is that every child in the Tigers family will reach their own potential regardless of ability or background. 

Through our growth over the years, the following key principles have become the cornerstones which underpin our practice:

Children as Individuals

Each child who enters Tigers is an individual and they are treated as such. It is very important that we get to know and plan for the child prior to their attendance. Time is taken with each parent and child prior to starting at Tigers. The settling in period is very well planned. It is important that families understand attachment theory and how this affects their child when starting at a new service.

Supporting Relationships

At Tigers we do not judge. By understanding that all children are individuals we understand that they all come with individual issues and backgrounds. We understand that we should be a supporting function and always look to see how we can support children and colleagues rather than judge them. Where expert support is needed, we assist in helping find external experts to support what is beyond our knowledge

Children Learn Individually & Differently

We understand that at every age children learn differently. As educators it is our job to be flexible in our approaches and to work with the child’s strengths and way of learning in order to get the most out of each individual. Some children need to be physically active in their learning, others need calm quiet spaces for learning. There are many different learning styles and it is up to us as educators to learn from children's cues and adjust our support and planning accordingly.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity is one of our core values and is seen as soon as we enter the building. The environment must reflect the children, families and our colleagues who use the service. The lobby/hall areas in our services reflect a diverse and inclusive environment. For example; "hello" or "welcome" signs in the languages of the children in attendance, pictures and materials which represent the cultures within the setting etc.  It is meaningless to have items from cultures who do not attend the service - this is tokenistic. Diversity and Inclusion is not a 'tick the box' exercise. It is important that what we do is meaningful and shows a sense of respect and belonging. Items from other cultures are used as learning experiences. If possible, an effort should be made to have any leaflets translated into the languages of those in attendance.

Our pedagogical practice is further underpinned by principles within the Irish Early childhood care and education (ECEC) current national frameworks to include:

  • NCCA (2009) Aistear the early childhood curriculum framework: principles and themes.
  • DCYA (2016) Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter and Guidelines for Early Childhood Care and Education.
  • DES (2010) Síolta The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education. 
  • Tusla (2018) Quality and Regulatory Framework. 
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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Watch Us in Action!

Early Years Centres

Afterschool Centres

Pre School Centres

The learning environment plays a huge factor in learning outcomes for children. But this is so much more than just the room or area they find themselves in; it’s about helping children and families to feel welcome and able to build a sense of belonging.

Indoor Environments

In each of our centres our care room environments inspire curiosity, foster creativity and support discovery.  Our centres themselves are comfortable, cosy and relaxed and reflect the individuality of the centre and the people within it.  Children’s work is proudly displayed and resources are placed at child height so they have access and ownership of the space. 

Outdoor Environments

At Tigers the outdoors is an extension of the indoor learning environment. We believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing and the children spend time outdoors each day.  Our outdoor environments allow for a combination of dramatic play, gross motor development, sensory exploration and risk taking.


Children are provided with a wide range of resources and materials to inspire their learning and development. We focus on real-world, ‘open-ended’ materials that encourage creativity, problem-solving and physical development. When a child is using open-ended resources, they are free to use their creativity and imagination. There is no right or wrong way, and no set end point to the play. Open-ended resources inspire curiosity and support discovery – the building blocks for successful lifelong learning.

They are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.  When it comes to materials, children perceive the world differently from adults. Everyday items can have infinite possibilities.  Children need materials and opportunities to apply their own logic

Observation is at the heart of effective early years practice. Children provide insights into their understanding as they set goals, negotiate, and experiment. Our Educators encourage children to discover concepts like big, small, tall, short, volume, numbers, pattern-making and counting and they are at hand to give subtle prompts, introducing new materials or concepts through open questions. 

Our colleagues are our biggest asset. We believe that child and adult interactions play a key part in a child’s social and emotional development. Children need to be able to build strong attachments to the adults in their lives and as such we strive to maintain a low turnover of colleagues. 

We believe that for our team to develop within a constantly evolving industry we must invest in training and development. 

We invest in our colleagues by funding all training that is required under Childcare and Health & Safety Regulations. We also fund training that aids in their professional development as educators and care-givers. 

We care about our colleagues and offer robust EAP and well- being programmes.

There is consistent evidence that positive and interested families have a major influence on their children’s achievement at all stages through life. 

At Tigers Childcare we believe that for children to optimise their cognitive, emotional, and social learning, parents and our colleagues need to work together in a close partnership. We recognise that parents play a fundamental role in a child’s development as their first educators and our aim is to always support their role. A two-way sharing of information is key to this.

Our relationships with parents are very important to us. We use a tool called Child Paths to allow for more effective communication between our services and parents. Child Paths allows parents to be involved in their child’s day by allowing them to access information on their child and, in turn, build up a greater knowledge of their child’s interests, skills and capabilities.

Child Paths also reduces the amount of paperwork our educators must complete, allowing them to focus instead on their interactions with the children, rather than documentation.  Find out more at childpaths.ie

The early years of a child’s life are critically important for the formation of good lifestyle habits, including a positive attitude towards healthy eating.  At Tigers Childcare, we promote and encourage healthy eating.  Healthy eating habits started in childhood will stay with your child forever.  Children grow and develop fast, so they need a high quality, varied diet, with a good balance of energy, protein, vitamins, and fibre.  Healthy eating is about having a varied balanced diet and enjoying lots of different food. 

We want to develop the whole child perspective; where diet, physical play, educational needs, and hygiene all take equal importance.  We strive to ensure that each child’s individual needs are met.  We support children to develop lifelong healthy eating practices and a positive approach towards food, nutrition, physical activity, and oral health. 

Tigers Childcare provides our colleagues with an ideal opportunity to positively influence children’s habits through healthy role-modelling and helping children learn about healthy food and drink choices in a safe, supportive environment.  Colleagues also have many opportunities to promote, inform and guide parents to make healthy food and lifestyle choices for their children and families.

Food Provided

A three-week planned menu is prepared and displayed and a list of allergens is available.

We provide food at specific times during the day to include breakfast, morning snack, dinner, afternoon snack and afternoon tea; however, we realise at times children can be hungry and thirsty outside of our regular eating times.  Children will be provided with food and drinks at any time when requested and fruit will be provided if a child does not eat their full meal and becomes hungry in-between meals. Our meals and snacks are adapted to be of appropriate textures for infants

Adequate quantities of food and suitable portion sizes are available for children.  The food is suitable for the age and stage of development of the child, and there is enough food supplied to cover the number of hours a child spends in our care. Children who attend full day care will have at least two meals and two snacks offered to them, one of which is a hot meal.

Mealtimes at Tigers Childcare

We adopt a family-style dining experience at Tigers Childcare.  For example, we encourage the children to become actively involved in mealtime preparation and clean up.  Our colleagues sit with children at mealtimes to encourage social chat and good eating habits. This promotes the development of confidence and positive relationships towards food and good health among children.   

Supporting Breastfeeding in Early Years Services

At Tigers Childcare we recognise the importance of breastfeeding and undertake to support breastfeeding by providing the supports necessary to enable mothers using our service to combine breastfeeding and childcare.  

Physical Activity

The children engage in daily physical activity to include music, dance and playing outside.  Children will have daily access to the outdoors. See our Outdoor policy for more information Playing in an outdoor environment has huge benefits for young children’s learning and development and, while playing outdoors, children also learn how to get on with others and manage their feelings.  Children also tend to develop a more positive attitude to learning when they are outdoors. 

Helping children to become strong and healthy develops self-esteem and therefore encourages children to have a go at new activities.  Children naturally learn so many skills through play e.g., communication, socialising, thinking, movement.  As such, outdoor activities are encouraged as much as possible. 

Hygiene & Dental Health

It is the policy of the service to promote good personal hygiene.  Our colleagues act as good role models.  Children are encouraged in the practice of washing their hands from an early age.  Visual displays are in place throughout the centre.  We promote good hygiene practices at mealtimes, toileting, after exercise and after activities. 

Healthy habits last a lifetime.  Getting children actively involved in their oral health from an early age improves both their oral and general health as adults.  Our colleagues talk to the children about foods that are good and bad for their teeth, the importance of brushing teeth and how to do this properly.  

Parents of children who attend our full day care services are asked to provide toothbrushes & toothpaste for their children.

We are committed to supporting each child’s health, welfare, development, and well-being. Children come to Tigers every day telling stories of their experiences with family and friends in their local community.  

Our curriculum is underpinned by Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. Aistear is based on 12 principles of early learning and development. One of the themes of Aistear is ‘Identity & Belonging’. Children will have a sense of group identity where links with their family and community are acknowledged and extended. We encourage learning opportunities which help promote a child’s sense of identity & belonging in the following ways:

  • By promoting outings, we enable colleagues to respond to these stories by bringing children into the community. Outings promote children’s identity and belonging, acting as a bridge between community life and life in Tigers. This bridge enables children to apply learning across environments which deepens their experiences, understandings, and growing knowledge (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Hayes et al 2019).
  • We discuss the roles of people in the community such as a garda/police officer, a nurse, a social welfare officer, a librarian, a teacher, a lollipop person and invite them to visit our services.
  • We implement activities that promote and benefit the local community and make children visible as active citizens in the community.
  • We celebrate important festivals in the children’s lives e.g., Diwali.

In broader terms we actively participate in our communities by sponsoring events and local clubs.

Our Quality Support & Compliance team's overall function is to contribute to the delivery of high-quality childcare and education by carrying out internal audit checks, identifying training needs, and providing professional leadership, support, and mentoring to our colleagues.

‘Excellence through Quality’ is one of our Core Values; “We deliver the best possible outcomes for the children in our care and take pride in our work which is founded on quality”.

Service quality is at the heart of our business. Our pedagogical approach is play-based and child-led. We are a leader amongst our peers in providing high quality programs.

We continually strive to achieve high-quality practice. Our aim is to build and embed a positive and productive team culture that contributes to best practice and supports the achievement of the Tigers Childcare vision.

The processes we use to achieve this vision include:

  • Induction training programme
  • Support and Supervision
  • Constructive Feedback
  • Strengths-based Support
  • Ongoing Policy Review
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Reflective Practice
  • Engagement with national quality improvement programmes
  • Internal Compliance Inspections

The child’s right to play is enshrined within Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which recognises ‘the right of the child to rest and leisure (and) to engage in play and recreational activities.

The commitment to and recognition of the importance of play is at the forefront of our ethos since the beginning. The philosophy of the Tigers Childcare School-Age programme is that all children should be allowed time for unstructured play after their school day in a safe, warm, familiar, and caring environment, where all children feel special and that they belong.

We know that play provides an opportunity for children to explore ideas, concepts and develop relationships.

We provide safe, pleasant, relaxing, and stimulating care.

We offer children a place where they will enjoy spending time in and environments that parents feel comfortable with. Our focus is on each child’s social and emotional development. After the school day we encourage the children to use their free time as they choose. They are encouraged to become involved in planned activities but can play independently if they wish.

During their primary school years, children need time to play, explore, create, learn new skills and importantly, to relax. Our after-school environments are created with these needs in mind. We also understand the importance of unstructured play in a child’s day. Play is an essential experience of childhood and is central to all aspects of a child’s development and learning. Children learn more through self-directed play, rather than direct instruction.

Our environments are created considering the many different forms of play in childhood: exploratory play, object play, construction play, physical play, dramatic play and socio-dramatic play. We create environments that are comfortable, well-equipped and appropriate for the age, stage of development and needs of children and young people attending. The children/young people attending our services are consulted about the environments and are involved in the review, evaluation and purchasing of equipment.

"Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best that they can possibly be."
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What parents say about Tigers Childcare

Sending a big thanks you to Tigers for creating such a loving and caring space for my daughter, Zoe Katie! From day one, we felt like part of the family. The staff are amazing - they're so attentive and genuinely passionate about their work. Zoe Katie has flourished under their care, and we're grateful for all the happy memories she's made. I'd enthusiastically recommend Tigers to any parent seeking a nurturing and stimulating environment for their child. We'll miss you all dearly!

Douglas Parent Testimonial

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

We’re beyond grateful for the incredible care and nourishing environment provided by Tigers. The staff's dedication and warmth have made our child's experience truly enriching. Thank you for creating a happy place with engaging activities for our little one.

St. Phillip’s Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

I couldn’t recommend Tigers in St Philips enough. My 5 year old boy is absolutely loving the place. The girls are going above and beyond to keep these little faces smiling all day. I’m very happy I came across them when looking for childcare, 100% recommend.. Huge thank you to Leanne and Leah!

St Philip's Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

Ethan absolutely loves pre-school and his teachers. He is always excited to go and has made friends. As a full time working Mum I love the introduction of Child Paths. I know he has been safely dropped off and picked up which gives me great peace of mind.

Enfield Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

Ryan really enjoys his time at Tigers, he loves doing arts and crafts, doing experiments with the girls and playing with toys with his friends. Triona and Tender are very efficient and friendly. They take great time to play with the children and ensure they have a good time.

Sacred Heart Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

Just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks and appreciation to Katelyn in Junior Discovery room. She is the most loved teacher there, not only by Mia but I heard the best reviews from many mums too. She makes this scary step for us parents and our babies so easy when you see the love and care she gives our babies. Mia fell in love with Katelyn from day one and is happy going to creche since. Her face lights up every time she sees Katelyn and it warms my heart leaving Mia in her care every day. Katelyn is such an asset to your team and I will forever be grateful for her as the 1st and such loved Mia’s teacher! She is an example of a carer who truly loves her job and gives it 100%. Every parent is lucky to have Katelyn taking care of their babies! It will be a hard transition to move to a different room and leave Katelyn behind and I can see what lovely bond Katelyn formed with Mia already. I am sure there will be other amazing teachers in Tigers we will get to meet along the way.

Bettystown Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

Jaydens experience in Tigers Balgriffin so far has been so amazing. Every day he comes home with new skills and it’s great to see him mixing with other children his age. He absolutely loves the staff in his room like Alba, Lucia and Isabel, they are so loving and welcoming to him and greet him with a big hug everyday. The activities they run with the class are so purposeful and are things I would never think to do with my son. They really go above and beyond with the care they give Jayden and the relationship formed with me too. I’m very grateful for all their hard work and effort!

Balgriffin Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

Indie absolutely loves Belgard Tigers and it is a testament to all teachers and management there. I am so happy I chose this creche for my daughter and love getting updates / photos of her baking, coloring and playing throughout the day.

Belgard Square Parent

What parents say about Tigers Childcare

We are very happy that we chose to send our son, Max, to Tigers Childcare in Ashbourne. He couldn't be happier, his social skills have really grown and he has made a lot of friends. All the children in the Junior and Senior discoverers rooms are so joyful and they all seem to have a wonderful rapport with each of the staff. A special thank you to Aimee, Ciara, Laura, IIze and Niamh who put so much effort into caring for the children, making their days so much fun, and keeping the center running so well. We never have to worry about Max as they keep us posted throughout the day on child paths and will always engage with the parents on different topics. We also love how Max is constantly doing activities while in creche. Whether it be arts and crafts, playing games, outdoor fun, etc. He is never bored.

Ashbourne Parent

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