Sophia Housing Association: Childcare and Nurturing Centre Manager

Sophia Housing Association



Job Title: Childcare and Nurturing Centre Manager

Location: Sophia, Donabate Nurturing Centre, Co Dublin

About Sophia

Sophia is a national organisation that has been supporting people as they emerge from homelessness since 1997. Responding to an ever-growing need in Ireland, Sophia supported 1,034 people in 2019 which is an increase of 100% in the number of people supported since 2016.

Sophia is a niche service provider for two reasons; Firstly, it sees the provision of home of one’s own as the primary response to homelessness and the intervention that Sophia is exclusively focused on. Secondly as an Approved Housing Body, its core mission is to provide homes for individuals, couples and families who not only need a home but also present with other support needs.

Sophia recognises that homelessness can have a traumatic impact on people and that services need to be designed and delivered in a trauma informed way.

We aim to provide safe and innovative projects for vulnerable families and individuals which will enable them to make a positive difference in their lives.

Sophia’s early years and school age childcare services are located in Donabate, north county Dublin.

Reporting to: Childcare Resource Coordinator

Contract: Permanent


Sophia offers the following additional benefits to employees:

  • 25 Annual Leave Days
  • Additional Long Service annual leave
  • 5% Employer pension contribution
  • Further education and training support
  • Employee assistance Programme
  • Flexible working arrangements

Hours: 39 hours per week, Monday to Friday

Job Purpose: To provide management and leadership in providing childcare support to Sophia Service Users

Areas of duties and responsibilities: Services, Human Resources, Finance, Administration, Health and Safety Development.

Key Responsibilities


  • To commit to the objectives and ethos of Sophia
  • To ensure best practice in the delivery of Children’s Services.
  • To work from a Trauma Informed Care perspective in the delivery of Children’s services.
  • To work in accordance with Government legislation and policy.
  • To work in accordance with Sophia and Policies and Procedures.
  • Efficient and effective management of Childcare Service including fees, furnishing, budgets, rotas .
  • To manage the Donabate childcare team under the guidance and supervision of the Childcare Resource Coordinator.
  • To work in a holistic way with children and families individually and in groups.
  • To manage the team to develop a plan for child development and play activities for the varying age groups.
  • To ensure that all children, parents and visitors are welcomed into the service.
  • To share information with the Childcare Resource Coordinator including the development and follow up of Care Plans for the children.
  • To be vigilant and monitor for signs of NAI, sexual abuse, neglect and report any concerns to the Childcare Resource Coordinator, Project Manager or Head of Services.
  • To record concerns promptly and accurately. To consult with the Designated Person and take appropriate action in accordance with Sophia Child Protection policy
  • To lead and work with the team to develop an appropriate Curriculum and ensure that it is informed by Aistear the National Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education
  • To assist in the management of indoor/outdoor play facilities and ensure they are maintained to a high standard and adhere to health and safety policies.
  • To assist in the planning and supervision of children in relation to offsite activities and outings.
  • Represent Sophia during HSE compliance visits and other inspection Processes

Human Resources

  • To manage the recruitment, induction and on-going training, support and direction of employees, volunteers, students and trainees of Sophia.
  • To assign work as appropriate
  • Arranging appropriate staffing ratios ensuring structure, monitoring and recording issues such as sickness, holidays, training, attendance
  • To be responsible for the development of the Team by
    • Ensuring that regular team meetings are held
    • romoting positive working relationships within the team
    • dentifying the training needs of individuals and the team
    • roviding support to team members in their work.
  • To provide monthly professional supervision to Childcare staff.
  • To ensure that all employees, volunteers and students receive regular supervision and keeping a professional record of this.
  • To provide monthly reports to the Childcare Resource Coordinator and reports for other government agencies as required


  • To manage the annual budget for the Nurturing Centre based on the information provided by the Finance Department.
  • To manage Service Level Agreements and to ensure the return of data and information agreed with funders.
  • To actively source and make grant applications to fund the services and costs of the service in your region. To provide information to funders on expenditure of grants.
  • To promote networking with appropriate voluntary and statutory agencies.

Health and Safety

  • Ensure that the necessary fire, health and safety policies and procedures are in place and adhered to.
  • Ensure high standards of hygiene and cleanliness are maintained at all times.
  • Maintaining and ensuring that all toys/equipment/materials are safe to use.
  • Ensure appropriate procedures are in place for responding to emergencies within the Nurturing Centre.


  • To attend other agency meetings as appropriate and to work effectively with relevant personnel within Sophia.
  • To contribute to policy development and review within the agency.
  • To attend training courses and relevant evening meetings relating to the provision of Childcare Services in order to ensure that a high quality service is maintained and for professional development.
  • To meet monthly with the Childcare Resource Coordinator and report on updates such as finances, progression of Childcare Service, staffing issues, building/maintenance issues and other issues as and when required.
  • To monitor and review service provision to ensure high standards of childcare, education and welfare are in place.
  • To implement policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date and reflect best practice.
  • To undertake regular service evaluation in consultation with service users and staff.
  • To promote networking with appropriate voluntary and statutory agencies.
  • To develop appropriate programs and activities that take into account the individual needs of children and families.
  • To participate in regular support and supervision.
  • To work closely with the Health Service Executive and the new Children and Families Agency to fulfil our obligations in alignment with and to compliment the development of national and area plans, and strategies and objectives of the Council and the Departments of Health, Children and Youth Affairs.
  • To undertake other work that may be assigned to you from time to time.

Person Specification


  • Degree in Early Childhood care and education (essential)
  • First Aid Qualification (desirable)

Experience and Skills

  • At least 2 years’ experience in a similar role.
  • Experience of working with children from birth to 18 years
  • Experience of working with parents as partners
  • A good working knowledge of Síolta & Aistear
  • Knowledge of the Child Care Act 1991 [Early Years Services) Regulations 2016
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of child protection and the duties and responsibilities under Children First
  • Familiarity with early years and school age regulations and legislation
  • An inclusive child centred approach to practice
  • Be naturally warm and respectful towards children & their needs
  • A flexible approach to work
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • An ability to work in partnership with the team
  • Excellent organisational skills

Appointment is subject to satisfactory references and Garda Vetting. Applicants who have worked/lived in a state or country outside of Ireland for more than 6 consecutive months must obtain and present police clearance from that country.

Application Process:

Please forward a Cover Letter and CV to

Closing date is Thursday, 27th January 2022

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
13th Jan, 2022
Donabate, Co Dublin
Expiry Date
27th Jan, 2022