Michael O’Sullivan, owner of Sugradh playschool, which is now enrolling for January 2017. (Photo: Anne O'Donoghue)

A tried and tested preschool model has been brought to Ballygiblin and will open in the new year. Local man Michael O’Sullivan, will open Sugradh preschool in Ballygiblin on January 9, 2017, which will be based on two other successful preschools that operate under Michael’s ownership.

In 2010, while teaching at a primary school in Kildangan, County Kildare, Micheal opened a preschool in a small room in the parish hall, with just eight children. Since then, it has grown to having 70 children attending the preschool and it has been expanded twice. Micheal opened a second preschool two years ago in Athy to cope with growing demand.

This year Micheal was approach by a local group to know would he be interested in starting a preschool in Ballygiblin, where there was an increased demand for one. He decided to bring the knowledge he acquired in Kildare back to his homeland and open ‘Sugradh’.

The Mitchelstown native is the principal of CBS Primary School in Charleville. He has been working as a primary school teacher for eight years and is already in his second principal’s role, previously he was principal of Shanballymore National School.

Sugradh is located beside Ballygiblin national school in the old schoolhouse building. Micheal said he has received very positive feedback from members of the community about the preschool.

“Many people in the local community have commented that is great to see education being brought back after many years to the old schoolhouse in Ballygiblin.”

Currently, Sugradh is open as an after school facility. It began in September of this year and has proved to be popular since its commencement. There is an infant club from 1:40pm to 2:40pm, a homework club at 2:40pm and after school until 5:40pm in the evening.

Every child in Ireland, between the ages of three and five and a half, is eligible to access free preschool. They can enroll at three points during the year; September, January and April.

Micheal says he attributes the success of his preschools to his hardworking staff. He only hires preschool room leaders that have a degree or a Master’s in early childhood care and education or primary school teaching.

“Our aim is to create a high quality preschool service for Mitchelstown and the surrounding areas. The old schoolhouse itself was going into disrepair and in six months it has been transformed into a bright, cheerful preschool.”

Plans are in place to build a playground attached to the preschool before the opening in January. Going forward Micheal hopes that classes for children and adults will be run in the building at night. If there are any local tutors that would be interested in running classes there, they can feel free to contact him.

For more information or to enroll a child in the preschool, Michael can be contacted on 063 86 967 or 086 605 9969.