‘Truly inclusive’: Kidscene – a parent’s perspective

Posted: 01/07/2018 | Child Care,

Any busy parent knows how difficult it is to get the right balance of work and childcare to achieve the very best care for your child, but for working mum Nadine Cassidy, Royal Blind has the perfect solution.

Kidscene member JessicaNadine’s 15-year-old daughter, Jessica (pictured), attends Kidscene After School and Holiday Club.

“I count myself and Jessica as exceptionally lucky that we have Kidscene,” Nadine said. “It is just fabulous.”

Kidscene is an integrated service for children aged 4-16 with a range of disabilities and additional support needs and those without any additional needs.

“This is the only place I have heard of which caters for both kids with complex needs and those without,” said Nadine. “It is wonderful and helps to make kids with no issues aware that there are others with real challenges.

“I do not know of anywhere else that has children with the level Jessica is at alongside children who have no additional needs.

“It is difficult for Jessica to have close friends, so it is lovely that she enjoys being around other children and hearing their chat. All the kids are lovely with her, push her in her wheelchair and include her where possible in their games and activities.”

Jessica is registered blind and has cortical blindness, which means she only has a small amount of vision. She also has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties.

Kidscene has care staff to support Jessica’s individual medical needs and the club has access to all the Royal Blind School’s facilities, including a swimming pool, climbing wall and sensory play areas. It also has two large play rooms.  

“The staff are truly inclusive,” said Nadine. “To me all the staff at the Royal Blind think outside the box. Many other organisations try to fit the child to the activity, but at Kidscene the activity fits in with the child so kids of all abilities and levels are able to do the same things. It is true inclusion.

“Everyone gets something out of it and it is wonderful, and staff are always on hand to see if Jessica needs a bit of quiet time, if she is tired or it is just getting too much for her. She is so well looked after.”

Jessica is a pupil of the Royal Blind School, so Nadine knew about Kidscene when it was first established and Jessica has been attending for around five years.

“It is invaluable to me as I work,” added Nadine. “It is very flexible and I am able to work things around my hours. Jessica attends after school and in the holidays. She loves it and I can go to work feeling that she is looked after and is happy.”