About Childminding Ireland

Childminding Ireland is the National Childminding Association and a National Voluntary Childcare Organisation


An Ireland in which childminding flourishes resulting in profound benefits

for children, families and communities.

A childcare environment in which childminders have parity of esteem,

access to supports, training and equitable inclusion in policy and in practice.





At Childminding Ireland, we offer support to childminders so that they can provide best quality childcare in a home-from-home setting for the benefit of children, their families and their communities.



Offer meaningful support to childminders.
Effectively inform parents, policy makers and the wider public on the unique benefits of childminding as a professional childcare service.
Lobby decision makers on issues facing childminding.
Continue to develop the effectiveness of the organisation in realising its vision.


Providing access to training and professional development.
Benefits includes reduced insurance costs when you join our group insurance scheme.
Providing professional resources & practical advice to members.
Providing parents with advice on childminders and childminding and access to our Childminders Directory
A National organisation solely focused on childminding, representing members and lobbying Government.

CMI Team

Bernadette Orbinski Burke, Chief Executive

Originally, a biology and science teacher, Bernadette retrained as a Chartered Accountant. Bernadette has had a wide-ranging business career, the benefits of which Bernadette brings to Childminding Ireland. Bernadette worked in a range of sectors prior to spearheading Childminding Ireland. Previous high-level roles include working in the Scottish Government Health Department and for the International Office Geneva of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) the international medical emergency aid agency.

Bernadette is passionate about delivering change for childminders in Ireland and leads the committed and dynamic team at Childminding Ireland. Bernadette has huge admiration for the members of the organisation who continuously demonstrate drive and enthusiasm for this critical sector in our society.

While not at work, Bernadette is busy taxiing her daughter between sporting events, taming the garden or listening to Podcasts from around the world.

Mairead Hurley, Childminding Engagement

As the Childminding Engagement team leader, Mairead is armed with huge understanding of childminding and feels honoured to support childminders on a daily basis.  Mairead first cut her teeth in the manufacturing industry before finding her natural home in the childcare sector. 

Having completed her Fetac qualification in childcare, she set up her own playschool and childminding business and later went on to become Manager at Wicklow Family Learning Centre.

As a sports fanatic, you will find Mairead taking part in sport of any size or shape or cheering on her favourite team from the side of a pitch!

Bernie Byrne Childminding Engagement

Bernie is the first port of call for many childminders, and is exceptionally helpful and positive. Having run her own Montessori Pre-school for many years, Bernie decided to return to education and  attained a full Fetac award in Early Childcare and Education.  Bernie then began her career as a childminder which she thoroughly enjoyed and gives her invaluable insight into the challenges and concerns of  members.

Using her vast experience of working with children and their families Bernie will support childminders through setting up their business, finding a suitable child or children to mind and generally advising on every aspect of service.

While not working, Bernie loves to sing with her local choir and her keen interest in dressmaking and design is put to great use both at home and in her voluntary work.

Lara Hughes, Outreach/Marketing

With a strong understanding of the Marketing fundamentals, Lara is enthusiastic about delivering memorable, results driven campaigns for childminding Ireland.  Prior to running Outreach & Marketing for Childminding Ireland, Lara learned her trade in leading global telecommunications multinationals where she rose through the ranks.  She is hugely energised to be applying her experience and knowledge to such an important and evolving sector.

In her spare time, Lara looks after the social diaries of her three lovely ladies.  She is an advocate for achieving a healthy work-life balance and loves nothing more than slipping between the covers of a good book.

Lara holds an MBS from UCD and Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing.


Mary supports members to meet their training and development needs in her role as Head of Training & Development. Mary holds a Bachelor of Business (Hons) specialising in Human Resource Management, which makes her the perfect candidate to facilitate childminders to reach their full potential through continuous professional development.

In a previous life, Mary was an Office Manager for over 20 years so she brings many operational & organisational skills to Childminding Ireland.

With the benefit of having used a childminder and a crèche to care for her children, Mary appreciates the importance of the work of childcare professionals and the positive impact of quality childcare.

Mary keeps busy outside of work with a long list of interests including checking out antique shops, cheering her son on in football and shopping with her daughter. Currently Mary is the Treasurer for the Irish Steam Engine Owners Association.

We are part funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and our funding is administered through Pobal.

Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Pobal Logo