Avril McMonagle

Lead Consultant

Avril has dedicated her working life to early childhood care and education and possesses a diverse skills-set consisting of practical, academic and policy experience and expertise. She has a comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of the early childhood sector in Ireland from a variety of perspectives over the past 20 years.

Avril is an accomplished and respected expert in the field of early childhood care and education. She has consistently promoted a professional quality agenda for early childhood as a core component of her work over the years. The legacy of her work and being at the forefront of a range of pioneering initiatives to enhance early childhood education locally, regionally and nationally; is well evidenced.

Not least she worked as an Education Officer with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment as part of a four-person team responsible for the development of Aistear the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. This was the first curriculum framework for early childhood education in Ireland. She worked as Manager of Donegal County Childcare 2008-2018 bring forth and developing a range of legacy projects and initiatives to enhance the work of the early childhood sector locally and nationally.

Avril was awarded a State Appointment and served as the nominee of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs on the Council of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment from 2015-18.

She holds an MEd from Queens Graduate School of Education and a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies from Queens University Belfast. She fulfilled a lifelong ambition by setting up Meantóir in January 2019 and the company is going from strength to strength. Meantóir is currently part of The ACORNS Programme a peer-led network designed to support female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland.

Avril McMonagle Childcare

Over the years, my education and career has had a sustained and consistent focus on early childhood care and education. I have always possessed a clear understanding of the critical nature of early childhood – who we are now, how we cope with life, how we treat others and our vulnerabilities and self-image are all imprinted upon us in childhood. I love the quote ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men’ … This philosophy has shaped my choice of third level education, the care of my own children (and now grandchildren), my career and myself as a person.

On a personal level, I feel that I can make a unique contribution to this role as I have experienced many of the perspectives of the various people who make up the early childhood sector. I have walked in the shoes of a mother working to gain professional qualifications to enter the workforce following child rearing commitments. I have been a mature student juggling study, family and work commitments. I have progressed from a ground up perspective and believe that I have worked hard to make a contribution to how we educate young children.

‘Meantóir’ is the next step on my journey – I am excited about the future, grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to sharing it with you.