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National Childhood Network (NCN)

Let Grow Play Club Working Group represented by CYPSC, County Library Services, Tusla, MID, FRC, PlayBoard NI and NCN
Let Grow Play Club Working Group represented by CYPSC, County Library Services, Tusla, MID, FRC, PlayBoard NI and NCN

About Us

Welcome to NCN!

The Board of NCN are delighted to meet you through our website. The Board work with a strong and committed staff team to provide support for the early childhood sector in the areas of quality that you will see throughout this website.

We trust that you will find ideas, solutions, and guidance to support you in your work with children; if you are a parent that you will be guided and supported by the resources that we provide.

The lives of children are enhanced through this work, and are key to each and every decision that we make.


Our Vision

An Ireland where all childhood services place the promotion of children’s health, wellbeing, learning and development at the heart of policy and practice, working in partnership with Parents/Guardians/Carers, Families and Communities.


The NCN mission is to:

  • Ensure children’s rights, participation and needs are at the heart of our work within the childhood sector.
  • Ensure we adhere to key values of our vision, including collaboration, inclusion and high standards.
  • Inform and influence national policy developments relating to Childhood services
  • Provide support to the Childhood services sector and parents/ guardians /carers to enhance children’s health and wellbeing, learning and development
  • Inform and influence the provision of support to parents/guardians/carers in the parenting of their children.


NCN, as a community voluntary organisation, works together with the Childhood services sector, Parents/Guardians/Carers, Families and Communities, to support and enhance the provision of childhood services and associated social inclusion projects that support parents and increase children’s play experiences.

NCN is based in County Monaghan and operates at local, regional, national and Cross Border level.


Respect/Justice for the Rights of Children


Respect and Compassion for Parents/Carers and Practitioners


Quality in Childhood settings


Partnership with and between Childhood services and Parents/Carers


Multiagency working


Ethical practice



The child and young person’s individuality, strengths, rights and needs are central in the provision of quality childhood experiences.

  • Children’s participation will be facilitated in decisions that affect their lives.
  • Play is central to health and wellbeing, development and learning.
  • The safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children and young people must be protected.
  • The best interests and wellbeing of the child and young person are the primary consideration in decision making.
  • The ordinary needs of the child and young person and their family and community must be met, as well as their additional needs.
  • Cooperation, communication, and mutual respect is essential in the provision of services.
  • Parent(s) and Carer(s) are the primary carer of the child and young person and must be treated as equal partners.
  • Active participation of all parents/carers, families and communities is encouraged and supported.
  • Risks to children and young person, their family and community must be managed in ways that provide safety and a good quality of life.
  • Communities are supported to be self-determining and making decisions that are right for them.
  • Childhood services and practitioners are supported to attain relevant qualifications and ongoing continuous professional development to support them in providing high quality services.
  • Equality, diversity and non-discrimination are championed by childhood services, childhood practitioners and children.
  • The use of the Irish language in childhood services is encouraged and supported.

NCN concurs with the principles underpinning the Síolta, Aistear, Healthy Ireland Frameworks and the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter. NCNs work is informed by community development principles which support a Healthy Community Framework.

Meet The Team

NCN Staff

Michelle Hart

Michelle Hart


Pauline Hamill

Pauline Hamill

Finance and Administrator Officer

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Early Years Quality Support Specialist for Preschool

Kathleen Nugent

Kathleen Nugent

Early Years Quality Support Specialist for Birth to Three

Michelle McGee

Michelle McGee

Development Officer for School Age Childcare and Play

Dympna McAdam

Dympna McAdam

Office Manager and CPD Administrator


Patricia Cassidy

CPD and HISS Administrator

Annie Flanagan

Clerical Officer - Community Employment Staff

Jacqueline Sultan

Jacqueline Sultan

Clerical Officer - Community Employment Staff

Christopher O Connor

Clerical Officer - TUS

organisation chart