Belfast Telegraph

EU-backed childcare centre creates 10 new jobs

A new childcare and education facility, which is being officially launched today, will create 10 jobs in west Belfast.

Delivered by the Shankill Women’s Centre (SWC) ‘Small Wonders II’ involved the complete transformation of St Luke’s church hall into a childcare facility capable of accommodating up to 31 daytime and 32 after-school infant and childcare spaces.

The centre also contains a fully equipped computer suite and two additional training rooms, which will be used in the provision of various IT training courses designed to enhance the employment prospects of the local community.

A full-time cross-community worker has been recruited as part of the project to ensure greater levels of engagement between the Protestant and Catholic communities.

Speaking at the launch, SWC manager Betty Carlisle said: “This is an extremely important project for us. Not only will it provide much-needed childcare support, but it will also give local people access to the training they need to get back into employment.”

The facility received over £700,000 worth of assistance from the European Union’s Peace III Programme and was co-financed by the Department for Social Development (DSD) in Northern Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) in Ireland.

DSD Minister Nelson McCausland and Pat Colgan, chief executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, which manages the Peace III Programme, both welcomed the opening and voiced their support of the new facility.

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