BIG READ: Preschool in Carlow focuses on 'outdoor setting' for children 'in all weathers'

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Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett


Carlow Carlow Carlow

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A preschool in rural Carlow focuses on an "outdoor setting" for the children "in all weathers".

Paula Walshe, manager of the unique type of preschool setting in the rural village of Rathoe, says they focus on outdoor learning and the children in their facility learn in a large outdoor environment in all weathers.

The school opened in 2016 and speaking to Carlow Live, she said: "At the heart of our thinking is that all children have a natural affinity for play. 

"We do not have to teach children how to play, they are biologically designed to do so. 

"Natural play stresses the importance of physicality, movement and doing and is vital for children’s health and development. 

"Children have an essential need for sensory stimulation and movement and this is best found in the natural outdoor environment."

Paula added: "A high quality early learning childhood experience is very important in your child’s life. 

"Our Natural Play Based Curriculum will therefore aim to encourage hands on active learning, problem solving, life skills, effective communication, resilience, confidence, independence, creativity, emotional and social development for children under the age of six. 

"The design of our building enables the children to decide if they wish to play indoors or outdoors with both environments offering various interests areas to explore and develop. 

"Outdoor play and connection to nature is very important for children’s physical development, mental health and wellbeing. 

"Outdoor play also allows children to become familiar with early maths, literacy and science concepts through hands on play such as; construction, mud kitchen, sand and water play."

Rathoe Community Childcare is currently enrolling for free ECCE preschool places for September 2019.

For further information please contact Barbara or Paula on 059-9148879 or email

You can also check out their Facebook page, Rathoe Community Childcare, by clicking here.