Katherine Harford has been Programme Manager since YK was formally established in 2015. From 2012 she led an interagency partnership in the development of the Programme. So she has seen it grow from an idea to a reality! From 2008 to 2015 she was Manager of NICHE CLG, overseeing innovative community health programmes. She has previously worked in homeless services and in community development. She has a background in Social and Political Science, Community Development and Organisational Management. She is a founding member and former Chairperson of Cork Healthy Cities, and participates in a number of local, city and national networking and policy forums on issues of children’s development, social inclusion, equality and health. She lives in Cork City with her growing family!
Senior Oral Language Development Officer
Grace graduated from University College Cork with a BSc Hons in Speech and Language Therapy in 2009. Since then she has gained clinical experience in a variety of paediatric settings. Grace joined Young Knocknaheeny when it was established in 2015, and was seconded from her position as Senior Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) with HSE Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service until December 2019. Grace is passionate about developing the role of SLT in universal, prevention and promotion services to provide accessible information to all parents about how best to support their baby’s communication in the context of their relationship, ensuring a relational approach to meet families where they are at.
Oral Language Development Officers
Sally graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2010 with a BSc Hons in Speech and Language Therapy. She has gained clinical experience in a variety of settings, including early years centres, primary schools, private practice and H.S.E community clinics. Sally joined the Young Knocknaheeny team in 2015. Sally is passionate about using a play based approach to empower caregivers and families to achieve the best outcomes for children. Sally has a special interest in supporting children’s early communication development, which happens in the context of relationships with caregivers.
Lynn Buckley is Programme Officer with Young Knocknaheeny and joined the team in 2015. As part of her role, Lynn contributes to administrative, research and evaluation, and policy work. Within this role, Lynn also works as administrator for the KidScope Child Development Clinic. Lynn has an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree and Master of Public Health Degree from University College Cork. As a recipient of the Irish Research Council’s Employment Based Postgraduate Award, Lynn is currently conducting a PhD through Young Knocknaheeny. As part of her PhD, Lynn is a SPHeRE Scholar, studying Public Health and Health Services Research through UCC and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.
Infant Parent Support
Tracie has over 10 years’ experience of working in community development, health and early intervention projects in Cork city. Tracie is committed to ensuring that she is providing evidence based interventions through attending trainings, workshops and staying up to date with research. Tracie feels strongly about developing caregiver’s understanding of their child’s social and emotional development and how caregivers can use their relationship to support their child’s development. Tracie believes in empowering caregivers to recognise what they already do, and support them build on their own potential and strengths.
Infant Parent Support
Maeve graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with a B.A. in Early Childhood studies in 2003. Since graduation Maeve has worked in family support services in different community based programmes. Maeve has always had an interest in children’s social and emotional development and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy in 2007. Maeve was delighted to join the YK team in 2015 when it was first set up. She believes strongly that Early Intervention is so important for children and families so that they can be supported to reach their full potential. Maeve enjoys using play skills in her work particularly in the context of the parent-child relationship. Maeve also is passionate about offering universal groups across the community for all families in the area to access.
Infant Parent Support
Suzanne graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a B.A. (Hons) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. Since graduating Suzanne has worked in a range of social care settings; working with children in care, domestic violence support services and in family support. She has a keen interest in offering prevention and early intervention strategies to families, infants and children to support them to break intergenerational cycles of trauma and poverty and to support child development. Suzanne works at the project full time.
Infant Parent Support
Clíona graduated from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick with a B.A (Hons) in Early Childhood Care & Education. Since graduating Clíona has worked in community based Early Years and Family Support services while continuing professional development in trauma, empowering families and children, child and youth participation and restorative practice. Cliona has experience working within a multi-disciplinary team and believes that through working with the whole family unit better outcomes for the child will be achieved. She believes that empowering and supporting caregivers using a strengths based approach is key to forming strong relationships and breaking the cycle of trauma and poverty.
Infant Parent Support
Katherine graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Early years and childhood studies from UCC, working in the early years sector before returning to UCC to complete a MSC in Social Policy. Katherine went on to work in a community based Early Intervention centre continuing her professional development in trauma informed care, creative mindfulness and providing practical support to families within the community. Katherine has always been interested in a child’s social and emotional development and the importance of relationships in the Early Years. Katherine is both passionate and committed to the delivery of a high-quality service to the children and families she works with through prevention and early intervention strategies and a strengths-based approach.
Early Years Mentor
Kathleen is the Early Years Mentor at Young Knocknaheeny Area Based Childhood Programme since September 2020. Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Early Childhood Care, Health and Education. She completed an Erasmus programme in Norway whereby she attended Queen Maud University and worked in a Norwegian Kindergarten. This experience awakened Kathleen’s love for outdoor, risky play. Since then she has been fortunate to work with babies, young children and school age children across a wide variety of settings across the world. In New Zealand, Kathleen gained experience in Pikler/ RIE teaching philosophy, as well as the Te Whāriki Curriculum, which is similar and influenced the development of Ireland’s Aistear curriculum framework. Before returning to Ireland, Kathleen was an educational leader in a Reggio Emilia inspired centre. Her worldwide experience has broadened her vision of what quality means and is something she encourages other Early Years Practitioners to explore to reach their full potential in the Northwest area of Cork City. Although Kathleen’s role is diverse and is constantly changing to keep up with the changing needs of the Early Years Services, she works in collaboration with organisations, management and Early Years Practitioners to build their capacity to deliver high quality, inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education for children and families, through onsite mentoring and providing support to Early Years Services.
Incredible Years Facilitator
My name is Sinead Donovan. I am the Incredible Years facilitator with Young Knocknaheeny. This role allows me to run courses for parents providing them with robust strategies to help build positive relationships and develop open communication with their children, I strive to give the parents unlimited guidance and support. I also work within a number of local schools delivering the Dina Program to Junior and senior infants and supporting individual students with the Incredible years material, this enables a common use of the language, children are hearing it in school and at home. In 2002 I received a degree in Social Studies and I have been lucky enough to spend the last 18 years (with a few breaks in between to have my 2 babies) working in Knocknaheeny.