News & Events

Professor of Playful Learning to speak at Galway Childcare Conference


How important is children�s play in the development of future social skills? �Very important�, according to Patricia Broadhead, Professor of Playful Learning at Leeds Metropolitan University, who will speak at Galway Childcare Committee�s Conference on Saturday, 4th December. Professor Broadhead, author of Early Years Play and Learning: Developing Social Skills and Cooperation, has undertaken extensive research into how children become sociable and cooperative through play and how playful learning environments are created.

Her latest publication, Play and Learning in the Early Years highlights a new area of cooperative play and opportunities for learning in the whatever you want it to be place, an open-ended role play area using ordinary resources which stimulates high levels of co-operative play for both boys and girls. This free play area within childcare services gives children the opportunity to create their own environment, not only enhancing their communication and social skills, but also allowing them to achieve greater literacy and numeracy skills.

Galway City & County Childcare Committee also welcomes Anne O�Connor, Child Clinical Psychologist and founder of, who will explore creating clear communication systems between childcare providers and parents to enhance the child�s experience in any childcare setting. With over 20 years experience, Anne O�Connor has dealt with a diverse range of family-related issues in a practice offering psychological services to young children.

Jan Godfrey, HSE Information and Advice Officer - Children First and Susan McGlone, HSE Mid-West Regional Parenting Coordinator will focus on the importance of communicating with parents about sensitive issues and will discuss their recent research in this area.

As part of the Child Protection training being carried out, Galway City & County Childcare Committee in conjunction with the HSE, will launch a Child Protection Reporting Procedure Poster. This poster highlights the 3Cs � Concern, Contact & Consult and is a simple, step by step guide for childcare service providers to deal effectively with child protection concerns.

�Communication is the main theme of the conference�, says Mary Giblin, Coordinator of Galway City & County Childcare Committee. �We are delighted to welcome Professor Pat Broadhead, a leading UK child development expert and Anne O�Connor, creator of one of Ireland�s most popular websites to share their expertise in a setting that is perfect for networking and exchanging ideas.�

Parents, childcare service providers, students and the general public are welcome to register for the conference at the great value price of €10 (including lunch). Call 091 752039 to book. Conference brochure and booking form may also be accessed at


If you have any questions or enquiries about our services, click the following link to contact us today