Tigers Childcare teams up with ‘Empower the Family’
11th July 2018
Tigers Childcare is teaming up with Irish not-for-profit ‘Empower the Family’ to provide affordable quality childcare to young disadvantaged parents wishing to pursue third-level education.
The childcare provider will offer a low-cost childcare service as part of Empower the Family’s planned student accommodation and crèche facility, scheduled to launch in 2020.
‘Empower the Family’ aims to break the poverty and homeless cycle for lone young parents. It is the brainchild of Deborah Somorin, who herself became homeless at 13 years of age, pregnant at 14 and a single mother at 15. Despite many obstacles, she was determined to complete her education to achieve her career goals and provide for her son.
With the help of a community outreach programmes run by Focus Ireland and DCU’s Access programme, she completed a three-year degree in Accountancy and Finance followed by a Masters, and is now a qualified chartered accountant with PwC.
Speaking of Tigers Childcare’s partnership with the charity Deborah Somorin said: “Childcare is one of the biggest barriers to lone parents progressing to third level education, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. With Tigers Childcare on board we can help eliminate this and give young student parents the support to pursue their education and provide a better life for their children.”
The charity is one close to Karen Clince’s heart, the owner and managing director of Tigers Childcare. A single mother of two she credits her successful 18-year career in childcare to two key influences – education and her mother.
“Even though I had my children very young, my mother taught me that this shouldn’t limit my ambitions. I could still go to college and pursue a career,” said Karen. “She encouraged me to study at night for my degree while working, just like she had to do in the early nineties as a single mum returning from Australia with three young children starting life from scratch. She held down two jobs while taking courses in the evenings and eventually progressed to regional bank manager with Irish Nationwide. She is a huge inspiration and a great example of what hard work and resilience can achieve.”
Karen’s mother now works as Tigers Childcare’s financial director, where she has been instrumental in the company acquiring three Bright Horizons centres in Ireland last year to become the largest childcare provider in Ireland with 14 centres across Dublin and Meath. The company also recently announced its expansion into the UK with a new 7,000 square foot facility in London’s Elephant and Castle set to open later this year.
Speaking of how Empower the Family aligns with Tigers Childcare’s ethos, Karen says: “From the start Tigers Childcare has encouraged inclusiveness, with all children treated equally regardless of background and all government-aided programmes accepted in each of our fourteen centres. Working with Empower the Family we are delighted to be able to give some of the most disadvantaged people in society a chance to realise their full potential, unhindered by social, emotional or financial constraints. By supporting these parents, not only do we have a positive impact on their lives we also help change their children’s lives to achieve better outcomes for them well into the future.”
(Pictured (l-r): Deborah Somorin, Empower the Family and Karen Clince, Tiger Childcare).