For the second consecutive year, owner and Director of Kilminchy School House, Sonya Duggan has been awarded a much coveted and prestigious All-Ireland Business Foundation Accreditation. For her outstanding contribution to early childhood education, Sonya has just
recently been awarded Master Practitioner in Early Childhood Education Accreditation 2021. In 2020, Sonya was awarded Thought leader in Early Childhood Education Accreditation and Kilminchy Schoolhouse was awarded All-Star Laois Early Learning Centre Accreditation in 2020 and 2021.
The All-Ireland Business Foundation is an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses, based on rigorous selection criteria; trust, performance and customer centricity. The accreditation is now held by over 500 businesses. Reacting to the announcement, Sonya said: “I am delighted to accept the coveted Master Practitioner in Early Childhood Education Accreditation which lets our community know that we are operating at the highest standard. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our KSH team and our families. Thank you.”
Deputy Chair of the Adjudication Board Kieran Ring, said in support of the announcement: “Sonya has been elevated from her previous status as a Thought Leader to Master Practitioner, in recognition of her continued growth & development as a nationally recognised expert in early childhood education. Sonya is a trusted source who moves and inspires people with innovative ideas, she turns ideas into reality and knows and shows how to replicate her success.”
Sonya opened Kilminchy School House in September 1999, having spent 10 years working as a Montessori Primary and English teacher & lecturer in the Middle East, where she had the opportunity to set up a dedicated Montessori school. Today KSH is the only certified Montessori School in Portlaoise and has won numerous other awards. Kilminchy School House offers a range of services from Sessional , Full Day Care and After- School Care , within a unique nurturing learning environment where children aged 1-10 years are encouraged to creatively explore their world. It encompasses a variety of teaching approaches inspired by Reggio, Steiner and Forest School. “I’m very much into holistic care and working with natural and real materials,” Sonya said. “I like to bring the children into the outdoors to learn about nature and the world around them.”
In addition to her offering at Kilminchy School House, Sonya & her team now also brings her unique approach to early learning and childhood education to KSH’s sister school, Little Stars Montessori School in Kilminchy Village, Portlaoise. Sonya took ownership of Little Stars Montessori in 2018 and having undergone extensive renovation and refurbishment works, the school now offers 5 classrooms, an activity room and a large outdoor play and garden area. Along with its sister school KSH, Little Stars recognizes the many benefits of outdoor play and regularly brings indoor activities outside. Little Stars Montessori School embraces a fun, play based approach to learning and
development in the early years. “We understand that children are active learners which means that they learn most effectively when doing, and doing means playing. Play is how children practice life.”
The wide range of equipment and fun activities promote the childrens’ physical, emotional and cognitive development, helping them develop their social skills and gain increasing independence. Little Stars Montessori School has 10 highly qualified and trained staff who are committed to the Little Stars philosophy of creating a happy, safe, stimulating and inclusive environment.
Little Stars Montessori currently operates as a sessional service (9am to noon and from 12.30pm to 3.30pm) and offers the free Government funded Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme for pre-school children ranging in age from two-and-eight months to approximately five-and-a-half years. Parents can also apply for the National Childcare Scheme subsidy. Extended hours & part- time sessions are available from 2.5yrs upwards.
To find out more about Little Stars Montessori School visit www.littlestarscreche.com or www.facebook.com/Little-Stars-Kilminchy-352432265337279
To find out more about Kilminchy School House visit www.kilminchyschoolhouse.ie or www.facebook.com/kilminchyschoolhouse