Sensory equipment will benefit An Cosán’s early years services
Some of the children in An Cosán who will benefit from the Síol funding

Sensory equipment will benefit An Cosán’s early years services

In a series of weekly articles, we’ll get the full story on the 13 projects awarded funding through the €100k Tallaght Fund, and how each project aims to positively impact the community.

THE sun was definitely shining on three early years services this week after they were awarded €6,000 for the purchase of new sensory equipment.

An Cosán has been awarded €6,000 through the Tallaght Fund for the provision of sensory equipment across three of its early years centres in Jobstown, Fettercairn and Kiltipper.

Providing high quality early years education, the three centres are currently examining how best to invest the funding, in the best interest of the young children attending.

Last year, Tallaght entrepreneur Ed Dunne’s social enterprise the Síol Foundation created the annual €100k Tallaght Fund to support innovative, sustainable and inclusive grassroots projects.

Speaking with The Echo this week, Dani Brazel-Halpin, the project leader for early years services with An Cosán, thanked the Tallaght Fund for the grant.

“We’d like to thank the Tallaght Fund, we’re absolutely delighted…”, Dani said.

Bernie with Nikola, Nicole, Julia, Sophie, Szyuan, Faolan

“We have experienced an increase in the number of children with additional needs across our services… and sensory equipment is expensive but really beneficial.”

The three services benefiting from the funding include the early years centre on the grounds of St Anne’s National School in Fettercairn, at An Cosán, Jobstown, and in Deerpark, Kiltipper.

According to Dani each of the centres have different plans based on their available space, with the service in Kiltipper developing a sensory room kitted out with sensory equipment.

In St Anne’s and An Cosán, the teams are looking at a more mobile solution due to space constraints. This mobile solution is a sensory cart, which would contain sensory equipment.

“The sensory carts can be moved in and out when needed,” Dani said.

“They’re flexible…and the beauty of having portable equipment is that you don’t have the logistics of bringing children to a different room, you can bring the equipment to the children.”

Dani explained how sensory equipment is inclusive and can be used by all children of varying needs.

“Sensory equipment can go from small items like fibre putty and sensory balls up to swings, tents and lighted furniture” she said.

“The range depends on the availability of funding and space.

“It all benefits children in a lot of different ways.”

According to Dani, sensory equipment can help to relax children with additional needs who may be feeling overwhelmed in a pre-school setting.

The equipment also helps children with concentration, communication, including non-verbal, physical development, co-ordination, fine motor skills and spatial awareness.

“We’re hoping to introduce some of the equipment after the Easter break,” Dani told The Echo.

“The quicker the equipment goes in the more benefit it will be to the children we have this year.

“We do have some level of sensory equipment but when you don’t have the funding it is difficult to replace equipment or build on what’s available.

“[Investing in new sensory equipment for the children] is very exciting.

“The management and staff [in each of the centres] are working directly on the project and deciding what’s the best way to go about it.

“It’s a collaborative process within each team and between the three services, which are sharing ideas.

“We really want to thank the Tallaght Fund for the funding, which will benefit a lot of children in the area.”

For further information on An Cosán and its early years services visit HERE.

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