16 December 2010

Louise House Memories - Early Years Centre

Sylvia Maguire came across our work on the history of Louise House on our website. For almost 25 years, she managed the Early Years Centre which was housed in the rear building (laundry block). The Centre closed in August 2008 when the whole of Louise House was due to be demolished. She felt that no history of Louise House could be complete without a few words about the Centre:

The Centre served hundreds of local children aged two to five over many years.  Skilled and specialist support was offered to the children, many of whom had special educational needs and/or behavioural difficulties. Support was also offered to their parents and carers.  In 1984, when I started at Louise House, the ‘crèche’, was in the west end of the building.  The other room was a community hall offering sewing classes and childminder pop-ins.  Prior to my time, I believe that there was a luncheon club for the elderly. 

During the 80’s, few schools had nursery classes so the crèche provided pre-school education for the 3 to 5's.  We had an excellent reputation and long waiting lists.  Later, as nursery classes opened, we developed more specialised childcare to support the children who would find integration into a nursery class difficult.  I was told that the crèche had been opened post war, to care for the children of mothers attending the health clinic based in the front building.

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