Little Smarties has been providing childcare in a home-from-home, warm, loving and happy environment since 2008.   Established by Sarah Garland Shields in September 2008.    We continue to provide a high level of commitment and attention to each child supporting their individual, emotional development in a gentle and holistic way.   Little Smarties nurtures the whole child.


Children are encouraged to learn socially, intellectually and physically from the beginning, at their own natural pace. This builds their confidence in learning and social skills, creating all round confidence and happiness as they graduate through to their next important steps in life!!!


Little Smarties is committed to each child and provides nurturing and care on an individual basis. We provide complete preparation for your child’s transition to Junior School in a holistic, stimulating and fun environment. There is a rich and varied curriculum to keep your child busy all morning!!!  Please visit our Testimonial page for our past and present pupil’s feedback. 


Services Provided:



Click to download the guide for parents from http://www.dcya.gov.ie/.

Montessori sessional care service for children aged from 2 years and 6 months to 5 years:

  • Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 12:00pm

Open 38 weeks in the year.


ECCE places are available for those who are eligible. Do you need to know if your child is eligible for the free Pre-School Year?


Download the guide to the free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from dcya.gov.ie here or you can also use the ECCE calculator here to input your child’s date of birth and see if they are eligible.







  • Our Teachers – Montessori Dip. In Ed and BA Early Years Education 
  • Award Bun Ghaeilge DCCC
  • Award Prof. Development on Aistear – the National Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Paediatric First Aid & CPR Trained
  • Buntus Start (PE program) – Irish Sports Council
  • Award in Aistear Pre-School Curriculum Planning
  • Garda Vetted
  • ECCE – provides a free year of early childhood care.
  • TUSLA – supporting child protection, promoting safety and well being.
  • Siolta – implemented in accordance with the National Quality Framework
  • Member of Early Childhood Ireland Member of Early Childhood Ireland



Little Smarties curriculum includes



  • Practical Life – everyday activities your child learns in a purposeful way eg dressing, pouring etc,.
  • Literacy – a basic fun introduction to letters, reading and language,
  • Sensorial – your child learns to concentrate on all of their senses, defining and identifying each one.
  • Numeracy – an introduction to numbers, counting and basic maths learning while playing.
  • Geography – the continents and exploring other cultures.
  • Science – surprising Science experiments and exciting projects. Creating and evaluating ideas.
  • Circle Time – this is our favourite time to socialise more and chat, sharing our news and stories.
  • Free play – building blocks, stickle bricks and of course imaginary play being the most fun!



  • Arts and Crafts – painting, colouring, gluing and messy play, for exploring and getting involved.
  • Bun Ghaeilge (Basic Irish) – A fun and exciting introduction to Irish, songs and poems.
  • Music and Movement – Action Songs, Nursery Rhymes, Dancing. Clapping to different rhythms and beats.
  • Buntus Start Program  a comprehensive, fun activity programme designed by the Irish Sports Council.
  • RSA – Simon & Friends program “Beep Beep” to practise basic road safety, with storybooks, games and songs.
  • Gymboree Class (optional) Lots of genres of music like classical, pop and rock n roll!
  • Cookery – exploring and creating. Learning and discovering more about healthy foods.
  • Graduation 
  • Annual Parent Teacher Meeting – to discuss your child’s progress, observations and development.




Our Process:


We are located in the heart of Terenure. Little Smarties is situated in a well designed, well maintained, safe and secure building that is warm and welcoming, well organised and conforms to best practice standards.


We provide excellent quality programmes that meet each child’s individual physical, social, cognitive and emotional needs and recognize the value of play in children’s development and the value of diversity.


We use Child Diary to keep you informedWe communicate regularly on a one to one basis and offer appropriate links with families, community, statutory and voluntary links. We use Child Diary to help keep you informed about your child’s progress.



Little Smarties core values are belonging, happiness and respect. Because of the wonderfully unique home to home environment we can provide the parent/carer with confidence in the knowledge that your child is being well cared for and that your child in turn will feel safe and grow in confidence!



About the Principal/Owner

“Little Smarties core values are belonging, happiness and respect”

I am Sarah Shields the Principal/Owner of Little Smarties Montessori.   I graduated from the London Montessori Centre in 1990. In the following years I  worked as a full time Mum to my own beautiful children Andrew, Katie, Stewart and Patrick. In 2008 I then opened Little Smarties from my home.    In 2014 I relocated Little Smarties to the War Memorial Hall in Terenure. 


As a mother of four children, I am experienced and truly passionate about putting the needs of the child first. I also recognise the importance of allowing the whole child to be nurtured and guided respectfully from early childhood onwards. Little Smarties will lead your child through this exciting time until their Graduation to big school!


Of all things love is the most potent”  – Maria Montessori

Sarah Shields






Our Calendar:


We are proud to support:


Click to visit the Barnardo's Website








Click to visit the St. Lukes Hospital Website