Golden Days pre-school in south Tipperary is top of the class

Support for children’s learning and development is 'very good' - Inspector 

Eoin Kelleher


Eoin Kelleher


Golden Days pre-school in south Tipperary is top of the class

Golden Days Pre-school is based at the Golden GAA Hall

A pre-school in the village of Golden near Cashel has received a glowing review by the Department of Education in a new report.

Golden Days Pre-school is based at the Golden GAA Hall. An early years education inspection was carried out on the pre-school on November 18 last year, and the report was published on March 11. All pre-schools are subject to such inspections.

Golden Days Pre-school provides full-day, sessional and after-school care and education in the village of Golden. Established in 2018, the setting operates in two rooms on the first floor of a local community centre. In addition, a hall area, an outdoor all-weather pitch and GAA pitches are utilised by the setting. On the day of the inspection, the manager, owner, two practitioners and a relief staff member were present with ten children attending the pre-school session.

Typically, three practitioners work with the pre-school children.

The key findings are: “the quality of the context to support the children’s learning and development is very good.

“A calm and friendly atmosphere is well cultivated in the setting. A key person approach fosters the development of the positive relationships evident between practitioners and children.

“Practitioners take responsibility for monitoring the learning and development of a dedicated group of children. The practitioners consistently show sensitivity and warmth in their interactions with the children.

“On the day of the inspection, practitioners used some generalised praise statements that were evaluative in nature. Occasionally, practitioners encouraged the children to self-evaluate their activities. The daily routine includes a valuable block of one hour for play activities and experiences.

“During the observation, children were not fully afforded the opportunity to lead and initiate their play. Practitioners chose some of the activities for children during this play period. Practices and provision are child-centred and suitably reflective of children’s cultural backgrounds. Family involvement is actively promoted.

“Parents and grandparents spend time in the setting to read books, and share their interests and information on occupations.

“Practice in building the children’s knowledge of the local community is commendable.

“The annual outing, involving parents, to a local restaurant is a notable event. On the day of the inspection, the children visited the post office.”

The main recommendations are: “practitioners are advised to support children’s initiative to a greater extent. The children need to be enabled to make their own choices and decisions to pursue their interests and follow through on their intentions during the hour of play. Practitioners are advised to consistently use specific comments to encourage children to describe their efforts and actions. This will put them in control and enable them to evaluate their own work.”

The full report is at