Sensational Kids Announces Groundbreaking for New National Child Development Centre in Kildare Town

Kildare, Ireland – 10th May 2024 

Sensational Kids, a leading social enterprise and charity dedicated to supporting children and adolescents with additional needs, is thrilled to announce the groundbreaking of its new National Child Development Centre in Kildare Town. 

About Sensational Kids 

One in four children in Ireland has an additional need, and Sensational Kids has been a beacon of support since its founding in 2008 by Karen Leigh. Sensational Kids provides affordable and accessible developmental assessments and therapies, bridging the gap between long waiting lists in public services and costly private alternatives. Over the years, Sensational Kids has positively impacted over 10,000 children and adolescents through its Child Development Centres in Kildare, Cork, Mayo, and Monaghan. 

The Need for Expansion 

With a staggering 86,000 children on public waiting lists for assessments, diagnosis, and development therapies, the demand for Sensational Kids services has never been more urgent. Timely intervention is crucial for children to reach their full potential in education and life. In response to this growing need, Sensational Kids is embarking on the construction of a state-of-the-art National Child Development Centre in Kildare Town. 

Key Features of the New Centre 

The National Child Development Centre will boast a cutting-edge 17,000 sq ft facility on a 2.4-acre greenfield site strategically located just off the M7 motorway. This flagship facility has been expertly designed by eml architects to meet the evolving needs of the children and adolescents supported by Sensational Kids. The project is being spearheaded by project builder Flynn, ensuring the highest standards of construction. 

“eml architects are delighted to collaborate with Sensational Kids on their new Headquarters. The building will create a Centre of Excellence for Sensational Kids to provide services to the highest level. It will be an exemplar in the provision of therapeutic supports to children, as well as being fun and uplifting for staff, and visitors. It is of significant design quality to reflect the high-profile nature of the site as a Gateway to Kildare town. We look forward to realising the project with the entire Team”. Michael Landers Managing Director of eml architects 

“We at Flynn are delighted to be partnering with Sensational Kids on this groundbreaking project. Knowing that our work will directly contribute to improving the lives of so many children is incredibly rewarding. We look forward to delivering a facility that meets the highest standards and fulfils the unique needs of Sensational Kids and the children they serve”. Mick Flynn, Chief Operating Officer, Flynn.  

Key features include: 

  • 11 Therapy Rooms 
  • 4 Sensory Motor Therapy Gyms 
  • Sensory Room 
  • Therapeutic Kitchen 
  • Training Rooms 
  • Play, Develop & Learn Store 
  • Therapeutic Playground 
  • Sensory Gardens 

CEO and Founder Karen Leigh’s Vision 

Karen Leigh, CEO, and Founder of Sensational Kids, expressed her vision for the future, saying, “Sensational Kids was founded by parents with a vision for a better future for children with additional needs who need therapy supports, to help them reach their potential.  It has been our privilege to support over 10,000 children since we first opened our first child development centre in Kildare Town 16 years ago.  

Just like the children we have supported are growing, so has the demand for our services grown, along with our vision for how best to support our families and children. We are now embarking on our most ambitious project to date; to build a flagship National Child Development Centre, to change the lives of 30,000 children over the next 10 years. We are doing this because we believe that access to essential therapies like speech & language therapy and occupational therapy are a fundamental right and should not be a privilege denied to many or something that families must fight for. We also believe in providing children with a fun therapeutic environment that is designed and equipped to help them achieve success.” 


Addressing the Demand 

The new centre aims to support over 300 children per week, providing 13,000 therapy sessions annually for children in need. Additionally, it will equip thousands of parents, teachers, SNAs, and clinicians with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to better support the children in their care. 

Sensational Kids remains committed to its mission of making developmental assessments and therapies accessible to all, ensuring that no child is left behind. The groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant step towards fulfilling this commitment and expanding their reach to positively impact the lives of even more children. 


Supporting Sensational Kids: Call for Donations 

With thanks to the generosity and kindness of supporters, the New National Child Development Centre is currently 60% funded.  

The National Child Development Centre offers an amazing opportunity for strategic, tangible giving that will deliver long-lasting impacts for thousands of children and families for many years to come.  

Sensational Kids would be hugely appreciative of any financial support to complete this truly transformative project for children in need and is reaching out to companies, groups and individuals for support to complete and equip this much needed project for children with additional needs.  

For corporate sponsorships, partnerships, or individual donations, please contact Karen Leigh directly at Donations can also be made online here:  


For media inquiries, please contact: 

Jennifer Lonergan, Marketing Manager, Sensational Kids. 086 1361549 

Press Release Images: Sensational Kids Announces Groundbreaking for New National Child Development Centre in Kildare Town  


About Sensational Kids 

Sensational Kids is a social enterprise and charity founded in 2007, dedicated to providing affordable and accessible developmental assessments and therapies to children and adolescents with additional needs. The organisation currently operates Child Development Centres in Kildare, Cork, Mayo, and Monaghan.