The Organisation

What we offer

Support and advice

We have a team of specialists and development workers who work with groups to help them develop the quality of the work they do with children and ensure that the children are learning through play in the first years of their life.


This entitles you to advice and support, access to lobbying and a chance to influence policy, regular copies of our newsletter, membership rates for training, conferences and seminars, publications and videos. As a member you will also receive access to a discounted insurance scheme and access to our member's area on our website.


We have a voluntary accreditation process for groups to assist them in working towards high quality in their settings. A set of quality benchmark standards, based on international best practice, have been devised and groups work with their Advisor to meet these benchmarks.


Our training is for parents, all adults working with young children in pre-school settings, SureStart, nursery and foundation stage and management committees. All of our training helps develop the confidence and competence of the participants in the understanding of play and the needs of young children.


We have an Information Centre with a large range of books, periodicals and magazines available for reference or to purchase. There is internet access and a quiet area for study.

Key People

Early Years Chief Executive Siobhan Fitzpatrick
Dr Siobhan Fitzpatrick CBE
Chief Executive

Siobhan has responsibility for policy and strategic development, relationships with the Inter-departmental Group on Early Years, Childcare Partnerships, and Pre-school Education Advisory Groups. She also manages Cross Border relationships and International partnerships.

Siobhan is the former European representative on the World Forum Foundation for early years care and education.

Contact Siobhan Fitzpatrick

Early Years Director of Knowledge Exchange Pauline Walmsley
Pauline Walmsley
Deputy CEO

Pauline is the director of an innovative Knowledge Management function within Early Years and has overseen the development of communications, web advocacy and public affairs. Pauline has developed and implemented an integrated communications strategy that has aligned communications with key stakeholders with objectives for policy change in Northern Ireland and focused on grass roots mobilization techniques.

Pauline is strongly committed to the rights of all children to access quality early childhood development opportunities.

Contact Pauline Walmsley

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