About Us

About Us

Lynne D'Arcy

A qualified Children’s nurse, Lynne returned from London having completed her training in St. Mary’s, Paddington. After placement with a day nursery in London spotted that Belfast was lacking in quality childcare and from that Rascals was born.

From 1988, the family of nurseries and our family grew to what it is today, 8 nurseries and 3 little Rascals of our own, who enjoyed both the Ulsterville and Upper Lisburn Road Nurseries.

Lynne is responsible for the quality of staff and childcare on a day to day basis, supported by the childcare professionals below.


Meet the Team - Roger

Roger D'Arcy

Although only officially joining Rascals full time in 1999, Roger was involved in the administration of Rascals for much longer than that. From 1999 to 2003 Rascals expanded from 2 branches to 6 and the growth meant that he left the Campbell Bewley group operation in N.I.

With overall responsibility for all the financial administration, HR & regulatory responsibilities, Roger also keeps a keen eye out for expansion opportunities to grow the Rascals brand.

Roger is the current Vice Chair of the board of Directors of Early Years, the organisation for young children, and chairs the Industry forum which liaises and advises government departments on childcare issues and policy


Meet the Team - Shirley Neill

Shirley Neill

Job title: Area Manager 

Shirley has worked within the Early Years sector since leaving school. After gaining a BA (HONS) in Early Childhood Studies, she has worked her way up within management in Private Day Nurseries, within Queens University and Asquith Day Nurseries 
Since 2005, Shirley has been with Rascals and now she now has the responsibility for the day to day running of the branch network within the Rascals family. This experience has provided her with a valuable in-depth knowledge of how young children develop & learn. Her genuine enthuaism for children has helped contribute to Rascals continually high standards. 


Shirley’s main priority is ensuring that the children in Rascals are happy, stimulated and active within our curriculum. A genuine affection and interest for children focuses her on a quest for a high quality childcare environment. She also ensures that the company adheres with current childcare and employment legislation. Supporting the nursery managers with daily contact and visits, enables her to maintain a high standard of safety, security and hygiene. Due to the dedication of our staff, it is our goal to assure parents, and give them peace of mind when handing over the responsibility for their child. 
Shirley says…. 
”Rascals has a workforce of over 200 childcare professionals who are totally committed to continuous improvement, not only for the organisation but for the children in their care. I am passionate that each member of the Rascals team makes it their priority to ensure your child has a fun filled day and goes home with a smile on their face” 
Shirley is in daily contact, and provides invaluable support to the work of the Managing Directors; Lynne D’Arcy, (Operations) and Roger D’Arcy (Finance) 
For any parents who have specific queries, Shirley is available to offer support, guidance and reassurance. She is available to all Rascals parents, to discuss any concerns relating to your child’s on-going care needs. 
Meet the Team - Andrea Reid

Andrea Reid

Job title: High/Scope Co-ordinator

Andrea joined Rascals in 1996 and has progressed from nursery assistant, to management and has since 2008 embraced the world of High/Scope at Rascals. 
The Rascals curriculium is based on the High/scope approach. Further information on this exciting educational tool can be found at www.highscope.org 
Her main responsibilities are: - 
  • To plan, present and evaluate a range of High/Scope training to Rascals staff including implemeting the High/Scope Approach (IHA) course. 
  • To support the staff team and provide a strong role model for staff to gain knowledge from High/Scope 
  • To continue reviewing and improving all aspects of play and the High/Scope routine 
HighScope is a quality approach to early childhood care and education which has been shaped and developed by research and practice over a forty year period. It identifies and builds on children's strengths, interests and abilities. The High/Scope curriculum is used internationally in a variety of settings including day care, créches, playgroups, nursery and primary 
schools. The central belief of the High/Scope approach is that children construct their own learning by doing and being involved in working with materials, people and ideas. 
Through training, Andrea supports our staff in providing your child with a rewarding learning environment, consistant daily routine and fulfilling adult- child interaction. 
These strategies encourage and share control with children, focusing on children’s strengths, forming authentic relationships, supporting children’s play and adopting a problem – solving approach to social conflict. 
To learn more about our curricilum and High/Scope, Andrea will be delighted to share her enthuasium for our child development programme. Please feel free to email her at:  


Meet the Team - Christine

Christine Peacock Dip OT, CP TLP

Job title: Occupational Therapist 

Christine joined Rascals in 2009 as our in-house occupational therapist. She has quickly identified how children could benefit from many of her skills being integrated into our existing curricilum & play routines.

Christine’s previous expertise in helping children with varied degrees of developmental issues such as Autism & A.D.H.D has proven invaluable to many parents. Now at Rascals, she can identify and help catch these issues early and help your child learn through play involving proven O.T. methods

Christine says…..”Babies and young children learn by using their senses and movement to explore their world. They constantly process information from their eyes (seeing), ears (both hearing and balance), noses (smell), mouth (taste), touch (both light and deep pressure), and from their muscles and joints. A sensory rich environment with opportunity for lots of movement, play and exploration enhances learning. Children optimise their learning potential if they have been given the opportunity to develop their motor and sensory system before entering formal learning.

At Rascals I have developed a programme to enhance motor skills, sensory skills, sequencing skills, listening skills, following instructions, coordination and balance. This is delivered as 30 minutes of movement, games, stories, music, songs and rhymes every week. It helps to develop agility, balance, and co-ordination by targeting specific motor and sensory skills. Be- cause of this, it remains fun and each child gains a sense of achievement. These programmes are supported in the rooms by staff who are given activities which link to the targeted skills for that week. In this way, children get the opportunity to progress and master new skills”

Christine is also available to parents if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s motor or sensory development or about any of the activities above.

E-mail: ot@rascalsdaynurseries.com