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  • Northside East

Tigers team up with charity to empower lone parents

Friday, 17th August, 2018 8:00am
Tigers team up with charity to empower lone parents

Karen Clince (left) of Tigers Childcare with Deborah Somorin, Founder of Empower the Family. PHOTO: CONOR MCCABE

Tigers team up with charity to empower lone parents

Karen Clince (left) of Tigers Childcare with Deborah Somorin, Founder of Empower the Family. PHOTO: CONOR MCCABE

A NORTHSIDE single mum has teamed up with a not-for-profit enterprise that delivers affordable, quality childcare to young disadvantaged parents wishing to pursue third-level education.

Karen Clince from Castleknock is owner and managing director of Tigers Childcare and she’s joined forces with Empower the Family, which aims to break the poverty and homeless cycle for lone young parents.

Empower the Family is the brainchild of Deborah Somorin, who was homeless at 13, pregnant at 14 and a single mum at 15.

Despite many obstacles, Deborah was determined to finish her education to achieve her career goals and provide for her son.

She completed an Accounting and Finance degree in DCU in 2014 with the help of Focus Ireland and went on to complete a Masters in Accounting in 2015, which helped earn her a place at PwC where she is now a Senior Associate.

Deborah now wants to give back and help others achieve what she has achieved and is delighted to partner with Tigers Childcare.

“Childcare is one of the biggest barriers to lone parents progressing to third level education, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” she said.

“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.” 

Deborah’s charity is one close to Tigers Childcare MD, Karen who set up Ireland’s first after-school childcare facility in Glasnevin back in 2003.

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,” she explained.

“I could still go to college and pursue a career.

“She encouraged me to study at night for my degree while working, just like she had to do in the early ‘90s 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 centres across Dublin and Meath.

The company also recently announced its expansion into the UK with a new 7,000 sq ft 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 14 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.”

Tigers Childcare provides a programme of early years, pre-school and after-school childcare services.

 It has 148 staff and catering for over 2,000 children. 

 Karen who  is chair of the Fingal Childcare Committee and acts as an advisor to many Government departments and voluntary bodies on childcare and early years education.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here