About Us

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.

Welcome to NCN! 



NCN Vision

That Early Childhood and School Age Childcare services will meet national quality standards with the promotion of children’s health, wellbeing, learning, and development at the heart of policy and practice


NCN Mission

The National Childhood Network aims to provide a forum for a range of stakeholders to work together in a collaborative and inclusive way to advance the achievement of national quality standards in Early Childhood and School Age Childcare services.

  NCN Principles and Values

  • The Rights of Children – we acknowledge the intrinsic worth of all children and their right to flourish and achieve their own potential

  • Parents – we recognise and value parents and families as the child’s primary educator

  • Quality – we value those who work to achieve and maintain national quality standards in childhood services and recognise the impact of quality services on the enhancement of children’s health, wellbeing, learning and development

  • Collaboration and Partnership – we are committed to engaging in inter-agency/cross-sectoral work

  • Ethical practice – we are committed to exemplary ethical practice and professional conduct 

  • Accountability – we are committed to transparency and accountability

  • Sustainability - we have an open organisational culture that is flexible and responsive

Aims/Objectives of National Childhood Network 

  • Advancement of children rights and promotion of their health, well-being, learning & development in all childhood services

  • The empowerment and enrichment of the Early Childhood and After School Workforce

  • The attainment of national quality standards in all Early Childhood services through the Síolta and Aistear frameworks and the linking of future Government funding to the attainment of these standards

  • Interagency/cross-sectoral collaboration and partnership work leading to more effective integrated support to service providers that will secure best outcomes for children and families

  • Standardisation in the provision of information, training and support to the sector

  • Development of a needs led, cohesive support infrastructure involving all relevant stakeholders built on the commitment to achieving effective cooperation to ensure the best support to services

  • The development and delivery of high-quality training for all involved in the development, delivery and support of services

  • The provision of continuing professional development opportunities for all involved in the sector

  • Increased public awareness of early education, play-based learning and the components and benefits of quality Early Childhood and After Schools services 

  • Support for parents in the care and education of their children

  • Integrated, strategic, needs led planning and evaluation

  • Integrated regional planning and review structures to inform both local and national developments

  • Maintenance, support and ongoing development of Government policy and funding frameworks

  • Development of an appropriate national quality framework for the After Schools sector

  • Commitment to innovative thinking and action

  • Promote a positive approach to the Irish language and its introduction early childhood settings

  • Cross-border collaboration

  • On-going research at all levels to inform the development of services

  • Learning from developments in other countries