Crann Support Group

Empowering Community Organisations

Our mission is to support Community Childcare Organisations (CCOs) and Community Voluntary Social Inclusion Projects (CVSIPS) by the provision of shared business in the strong belief that with excellent management systems and strong governance CRANN can make a very significant positive difference to Community & Voluntary Organisations.

Our Story is Inspiring

CRANN’s journey began in 1999. The “CRANN” logo is a tree with the caption, “Communities supporting each other. This model developed organically through an identification of need and a commitment to meet the needs within the different communities. 

Crann Logo_

Our History

Ballivor Childcare Committee was set up in 1999 at a time that the need for the provision of an Afterschool’s Service was identified in South Meath, (Ballivor and surrounding townlands). This was due to the level of disadvantage families living in these areas. The purpose of the service was to ensure children had a hot meal and were given assistance with their homework. In 1999, funding became available through the The Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme 2000-2006, funded by the Irish Government and part funded by the European Union Structural Funds under the National Development Plan 2000-2006, to provide capital funding for purpose built childcare facilities to cater for children aged 3 months – 13 years.
Focusing on the village of Ballivor, a needs analysis was carried out to establish if there was a need for a childcare facility. Using the data obtained, an application to secure funding was made, land which was formally known as the “cow plot” was obtained from the Department of Agriculture, and Giggles opened its doors in 2003. The first purpose-built community childcare service in Co. Meath!
Crann support Group - Marie Daly
Marie Daly, Chief Executive Officer

In the years that followed, several other purpose built facilities were developed in Meath. CRANN played a significant role in their development, through the informal provision of; advice and guidance in the set-up of their legal company structure, support to voluntary Boards of Management and project management on the build. By 2007, it was clearly evident that by working together, it enabled communities to achieve more. It was through the sharing of knowledge, skills and expertise that the concept of CRANN as a Shared Business Service was born. Hence, the “CRANN” logo, which is a tree with the caption, “Communities Supporting Each Other”, encapsulates its ethos.

In 2007, Government provided Community Childcare Organisations with funding known as a “Staffing Grant.” This supported Community Childcare services in the payment of wages to staff, who were employed to work directly with children only. Staff providing ancillary services such as receptionists, financial administrators, cooks, cleaners and care takers were paid via generated income. In an attempt to address this strain on resources, CRANN (through Ballivor Community Childcare) applied for a grant from the Community Service Programme, funded through the then Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and were successful. Participation in this Programme played a major milestone in CRANN’s development. The funding allowed for a Manager and 6 FTE ancillary staff, which could be shared among other Community Childcare Services. This success supported the sustainability of these Community Organisations.

In addition, to further support the need for affordable quality childcare in Co. Meath, Ballivor Community Childcare applied for and became the main sponsor of the local Community Employment Scheme. This provided the service with access to additional resources.

Following an evaluation of the effectiveness of this shared business practice, its potential benefit to other Social Inclusion Projects and recommendations made by National Children’s Nurseries Association (Now Early Childhood Ireland) in 2011, CRANN was incorporated as a legal identity - The Crann Support Group Ltd. in 2012.

CRANN has organically grown from an idea discussed one day between two people in a community setting, to a large Social Entreprise responding to the needs of Community Childcare Organisations and Social Inclusion Projects. The CRANN Shared-Business Services model has since flourished and now provides professional support in the areas of;

  • Social Entreprise Management Consultancy
  • Human Resource Management
  • Finance Management (preparation of accounts to audit stage)
  • Education and Training
  • Procurement
  • Catering
  • Facilities Management - including transport, maintenance, caretaking, security and cleaning Management.

CRANN’s Membership has grown and has now stretched beyond Meath, to all four corners of Ireland. Each Member Organisation is an independent Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) and have their own Board of Directors who maintain their own autonomy at all times. Based on the needs of their Community Organisation, they choose from the CRANN à la carte menu of services and engage in a Service Level Agreement with CRANN to carry out work on their behalf.

CRANN Shared Business Services is now recognized as a proven model of how Community and Voluntary Organisations can access professional services in a cost effective way, while ensuring the sustainability of their service. With the experienced, professional and committed team at CRANN, CRANN is ready to take on the challenge of further growth and expansion. We welcome the opportunity to talk to potential new members and discuss the needs of your Community Entreprise in a confidential and supportive way.

To attain good governance, be sustainable, and deliver a high quality service to Community Organisations.

To lead, model and support and the provision of sustainable and affordable community childcare for the community of county Meath where every child and young person has access to the highest quality care and educational experience.

  • Integrity
  • Person Centred
  • Innovation
  • Inclusion
  • Good Governance
  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Diversity
  • Respect

To improve and enhance the governance and operations of community childcare organisations (CCOs) and community voluntary social inclusion projects (CVSIPs) through the provision of shared business services.

Crann Support Group
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