Board Members - Childminding Ireland

Childminding Ireland is managed by a Board made up of voluntary Members. As a registered Charity we follow the Charities Regulations Act

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Mary Walsh

Chairperson
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Anne-Claire Wall

Secretary
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Gwyneth Brophy

Treasurer
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Anne Ryan

Board Member
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Marian Murray

Board Member
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Gemma Trautt

Board Member
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Maureen Lakes

Board Member
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Liz Butler

Board Member
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Oksana McNiff

Board Member
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Eamon Kelly

Board Member

About Our Board

Mary Walsh, Chairperson

With over two decades of Childminding experience and ten years’ experience on the Board, Mary is well equipped to lead and guide Childminding Ireland at this critical and evolving period in the sector.  Mary has seen many changes in Childminding over the years and has a wealth of knowledge as well as depth of experience to offer the organisation.  

The opportunity to work with like-minded people to improve conditions for Childminders in Ireland is what makes her tick.

Mary is a visionary and dynamic leader with a great attitude to life and work.  She adores a good book and is always seeking to discover a new walking trail in the sunny climes of Mayo at the weekend!


 Gemma Trautt, Vice Chair

Gemma Trautt is a practising Solicitor and has 16 years’ experience working in general practice, specialising in the area of Child and Family law.  A match was made in heaven when she was connected with Childminding Ireland by Boardmatch.

Gemma is a highly regarded Board Member and continuously demonstrates her exceptional expertise and knowledge which are second only to her passion for achieving the best outcome for Childminders at a national level.

Married to a farmer, the only kids she minds professionally are goats.


 Gwyneth Brophy, Treasurer

With a strong background in Finance, Gwyneth is well placed to be Treasurer.  Gwyneth held financial roles in both companies and in practice prior to starting her own family.  Gwyneth has a keen eye on detail and is an advocate for doing things right the first time.  Gwyneth is a committed individual who wants to make a difference for Childminders at a national level.

Gwyneth has many years’ experience working as a Childminder and has just completed her QQI studies in Childcare as well as holding a Booking Keeping Certificate and accounting technician qualifications. 

Gwyneth is an avid GAA Hurling fan.


Anne-Claire Wall, Secretary and Marketing Subcommittee Member

Anne-Claire has been a Childminder for the last five years and is also a Montessori teacher.   Anne-Claire is a driven individual who has married her love of children, working and raising her own children all at the same time.

As a Board Member, Anne-Claire is relishing being part of a team of people who are passionate about promoting Childminding and making sure our members’ voices are heard at both local and policy-making level.  Anne-Claire is looking forward to what the future has in store for Childminders too.


Eamon Kelly, Finance Subcommittee Member

Eamon thrives on all things technical and manages to make even the most complex technology solution appear straight forward!  Currently Eamon is a Lead Developer in Enclude and he is fully committed to leveraging his technical knowledge and expertise to enable Childminding Ireland to succeed in the digital age.

Among the many string to his bow, Eamon holds a BA, a BAI and an MACM.

When he’s not working or volunteering with Childminding Ireland he may be found looking after his two moray eels or his cat!


Angharad Ryan (Anne), Marketing Subcommittee Member

Hailing from Scotland, Anne has worked in childcare for 24 years and has worked in New Zealand, Greece, Portugal and France before setting up home in Wicklow.  A dedicated and compassionate Childminder, Anne gets a kick out of seeing the Boards plans and ideas becoming a reality.  She holds several Childcare qualifications including the Scottish National Qualification in Childcare and Education.

When she is not taking care of children, Anne is busy being creative!  She has launched her own personalised gifting business and has passed her love of crafts on to her two adorable daughters.


Oksana McNiff, Board Member

Oksana has worked as a Childminder for over 10 years and is also a qualified Montessori Teacher.  Oksana is planning to continue her studies to QQI level 8.

Oksana has been recently appointed to the Childminding Ireland Board and is looking forward to the opportunity.  She is passionate about Childminders access to supports including the Learner Fund.  Oksana sees her work on the Board as a chance to make a positive impact for Childminders to run their businesses.

A mother of two boys, when not working Oksana is busy with family life! 


Niamh Egan, Board Member

Niamh worked as a professional opera singer for 14 years. As part of her contracts she had opportunities to work with children through music. It was something she loved and decided in 2005 to join the childcare sector full time. She worked directly with all ages in centre care and when she became a mom she made the transition to Childminder and hasn't looked back. 

As part a large organisation of 15 centre based crèches she ran the ECCE scheme giving Niamh practical experience of working at the coalface with Tusla, POBAL and DCYA.

Having recently joined the Board Niamh believes that her background liaising with government bodies will be useful while dealing with the changes ahead and ensuring Childminders, and the unique service we provide, is respected and protected.

It is Niamh’s desire to see Childminding Ireland as a strong voice capable of protecting the unique qualities of Childminders whilst ensuring quality within the profession. 


Maureen Lakes, Board Member

Another new Board member, Maureen has been Childminding for the last 13 years and is currently operating her Childminding business in South Kildare.  Maureen has been an active member of Childminding Ireland attending AGM's, workshops and most recently the Discussion Day on the future of Childminding in Ireland.

Things are changing for Childminders and Maureen wants to ensure the focus is on Childminding as home-centred childcare, keeping homes as homes while keeping children safe and providing a quality service.


Liz Butler, Board Member

Liz is a co-opted member of the board, originally elected as a Board member by the associates. Associate members were Childminders' Advisors, tutors on courses and staff in city or county childcare committees or other members who supported Childminding Ireland but weren't actually Childminding at the time.

Liz worked as a Childminder for a period when she was running a playgroup in the mornings and Childminding in the afternoons.  Liz also worked in a women's refuge as a children's worker and then as a Childminders' advisor.  Liz studied Health and Social Care, in which she holds an honours BSc. 


Marian Murray, Board Member

Marian has a wealth of Board experience, having first been elected to the Childminding Board 12 years ago.  Marian has found being on the Board rewarding, in particular being able to influence the future direction of Childminding in Ireland through working with like-minded people who are dedicated to protecting our future as Childminders.

Marian has been minding children for 22 years and if including her own it is nearer to 34 years!

Minding children has been a real labour of love for Marian and she considers it a real privilege and an honour that parents entrust their children into her care.

A graduate of St Nicholas Montessori College Ireland, Marian worked in a Montessori school for a number of years and then returned to childminding as she preferred being her own boss.

When she has free time, Marian loves reading and meeting with friends for a chat.