St Joseph’s National School in Clonakilty, Co. Cork has become the first school in Ireland to set the trend in offering primary school going students after school care with Sherpa Kids Ireland. Sherpa Kids Ireland aims to roll out the service throughout Ireland within the next five years through over 80 franchisees, creating more than 2,000 new jobs servicing over 10,000 families.
Sherpa Kids International was founded in Australia in 2011 off its sister company from New Zealand which was founded in 1996, in response to the huge demand for professional outside school care services which promotes and caters for each individual child. Since its inception it has expanded to eight countries with Ireland becoming the latest to roll out the successful model under the directorship of Cork-based John Miles who has become country master franchise, managing director of the Sherpa Kids franchise in Ireland.
The Sherpa Kids service operated in St Joseph’s NS provides care to participating students Monday to Friday from 3-6pm and is led by fully qualified and trained childcare professionals. The service is run on site at the school with its own management system which is wholly independent to the running of the school itself.
Speaking of Sherpa Kids Ireland, managing director John Miles said: “I am thrilled to launch Sherpa Kids Ireland with St. Joseph’s NS as the pilot school. As a dad myself it is important for me to know that children will be safe and happy among trained professionals and classmates. Not only will they experience an array of fun and educational activities, they will also have the opportunity to complete their homework while attending Sherpa Kids. For parents, the model takes the stress out of leaving work early or arranging to have your child be catered for elsewhere. We offer a professional on site after school service and look forward to working with other schools throughout West Cork in the weeks and months ahead that would benefit from our service.”
He continued: “Sherpa Kids Ireland also offers a unique opportunity to those who have a passion for childcare and want to become their own boss with franchising opportunities.”
Vicki Prout, co-director, Sherpa Kids International who is based in Australia was also on hand to officially launch Sherpa Kids Ireland at St. Joseph’s NS. Speaking at the launch she said: “Thousands of parents are frantic for affordable, high-quality outside school hours care. More than ever, more parents are employed or are working more demanding hours and transport issues can make the school-to work, work-to-school transition a stressful daily chore. Sherpa Kids has answered the demand for care with a franchise model that offers school communities the best of both worlds; strong expertise in childcare and a local heartbeat with local leaders that puts kids and families first.”
Adrienne Downes, principal of St Joseph’s NS also spoke of her delight with the new service, saying: “I am thrilled that St Joseph’s has become the first school in the country to introduce Sherpa Kids Ireland. It is fantastic to have such a professional service available in the school with its own management system to support its structured programmes through activity based themes that supports the schools curriculum. It means that the children can remain in a setting they are familiar with, with their friends and experience a fun learning environment while parents have peace of mind. It is certainly a service that will aid many more families throughout the country.”