About Us

Type of Service and Age Range

We run a sessional service. Our sessions in Merry Mornings are three hours long Monday to Friday 9am to 12 noon. Children must be two years and 8 months to attend the service. There is equality of access to our service. Places are pre-booked. A booking list runs for three to four years in advance. When the group quota is reached a waiting list comes into operation.

Maximum number of children per session at Merry Mornings Preschool Abbeyleix is 22.

Staff at Merry Mornings Pre-School

The staff ratio is maintained at eight children per one adult. Merry Morning’s staff is as follows.

Hilary Mezzapelle

Owner, Manager, Room Leader, Linc Inclusion Co-coordinator -AIM support. BA in Early Childhood Education. 12 years experience working with children.

Rosemary Harding

Play leader. Fetac Level 5 and 6 in Childcare, 18 years experience in childcare

Michelle O' Neill

Early Years Educator. Fetac Level 5 and 6 in Childcare. 13 years experience in Childcare

Geraldine Murphy

Relief Staff, Fetac level 5 in Childcare. 32 years experience in childcare

Play Area

The equipment and materials in the playroom cover six main play areas:

Home Corner

Home corner:- Kitchen, dolls, restaurant, doctors surgery, shop,   hairdressing, dress up, police, fire fighters, music etc.


Stickle bricks, duplo, Lego, mobilo, constructo straws  k-nex, cars etc

Quiet Work Area

Colouring, jigsaws, threading, pegs, pairing, matching, group games, board games.

Small World

Quiet individual play (farm, doll’s house etc.)

Messy Area

painting, playdo, drawing, cutting, craft, 

Book Area

Library of books

There are two outside play areas that are fenced in and safe. These areas are in use all year round. The outdoor activities include group games, ball skills, movement skills, obstacle course, messy kitchen and sand play .The children also do gardening in the spring sowing plants and vegetables.


The ECCE (Grant for Early Childcare Education)is allocated to each child for two years. The two years of free preschool are paid by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for every child within a certain age bracket. This is to encourage parents not to send their children to school at too young an age.

For Parents

Parents, we at Merry Mornings recognise that you are the primary carers of your children. Our aim is to support you in encouraging your child/children to develop at their own pace.

During the Covid Pandemic no adults are permitted access to the building. Currently all children  say goodbye to parents at the main door. A staff member will take your child’s temperature and take your child into the playroom.

Once these restrictions are lifted you are welcome to visit the playschool whenever you so wish. There is an opportunity each day to talk to staff about any concerns. We would encourage you to come into the playroom to see your child/children’s work on display and to take home their own work stored in the craft basket in the entrance hall.

We ask you to take note of the following procedures:


  • Currently due to the covid pandemic , you will leave your child with a member of staff at the main door.
  • Currently a staff member will sign in your child on arrival and departure. Only the people you have designated can collect your child
  • Any changes to the collection rota must be entered on your child’s registration form. A specific time must be arranged to collect your child if not being collected at twelve to ensure that two members of staff remain with the child.
  • Your children must disinfect their hands daily before entering the playroom to help stop the spread of infection.
  • Your children must bring a packed lunch each day with enough food for 2 breaks. Children must have access to two food breaks in a session. We suggest that the main snack be a healthy sandwich or wrap, a drink and a piece of fruit for the second snack. Drinks should be in a twist topped flask with enough liquid for several drinks. No marshmellows or fizzy drinks allowed. We encourage healthy eating.
  • Please do NOT include the following:- Packets of sweets, any  chocolate food, peanuts, popcorn and kiwis because of food allergies and  allergies to nuts and traces of nuts.
  • Children should have a change of wellingtons boots for outdoor play that are kept at the playschool all year round.
  • NB No open toed sandals or crocs are to be worn as outdoor play footwear, they can cause broken ankles etc.
  • On our website you can find a selection of our Policies and Procedures .The full file of 54 policies is available on request from Merry Mornings Staff.

We provide extra curricula activities:- Baking ( ceased during covid) and gardening. We go on an annual outing ( ceased during covid) which costs approx. ten euros per child.

Merry Mornings Pre-School

Mission Statement








Contact Us

Merry Mornings,
Gort Na Nóir,
Mountrath Road
Co. Laois.
Eircode: R32VH6V

Hilary: 086 2333289
Email for bookings and general queries: [email protected]