Westmeath County Childcare Committee

Committee Handbook

Version 10


Westmeath CountyChildcare Committee

Mission Statement

Westmeath County Childcare Committee is committed to creating an environment that values all children, by facilitating the development of an infrastructure of high quality early childhood care and educational services that supports the holistic development of children in the context of family and community throughout Westmeath.

Purpose of this document

The purpose of this document is to ensure Westmeath County Childcare Committee Limited implement the highest standards of corporate governance complying with the Governance Code for the community and voluntary sector. This document is a guide and overview of the roles and responsibilities of Board members of Westmeath County Childcare Committee. It also sets in context the national and local operating environments for Westmeath County Childcare Committee.

National Framework

Westmeath County Childcare Committee (WCCC) was established in May 2001 as a key element of the Government’s co-coordinated strategy to develop quality childcare in Ireland. The membership of Westmeath County Childcare Committee(WCCC) was pre designated by the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform and comprises nominated representatives from Statutory Bodies, Social Partners, and Community & Voluntary sector, Childcare Providers, Parents, National Voluntary Childcare Organizations, Partnership and Community Groups. WCCC are currently reviewing this representation to ensure best practice in governance and that the company has the skills and expertise to ensure it can delivery into the future while taking into consideration the changes that have happened at local structural level. Westmeath County Childcare Committee will implement the highest standards of corporate governance complying with the Governance Code for the community and voluntary sector.

The purpose of Westmeath County Childcare Committee is to assist in the co-ordination of Childcare, both nationally and locally and to assist in prioritising funding. The purpose is broadly in under pinned by the new framework “Better Outcomes Brighter Futures”. WCCC receives funding from the Childcare Directorate for the operations of the Committee, allowing it to employ staff and implement actions contained in its Local Implementation Plans that are mandated by the Childcare Directorate as reflecting national policy objectives.

Objectives of Westmeath County Childcare Committee Limited

  • To deliver Government programmes and policy locally as directed.
  • To develop comprehensive childcare supports, infrastructure and services where the holistic well-being of children and families are fundamental for county Westmeath.
  • To enhance quality early childhood education and care and school-age provision in county Westmeath.
  • To consolidate investment in the sector in order to support the continuing development of a stable, integrated and sustainable infrastructure for County Westmeath.
  • Through on-going professional development, to build the capacity of the ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) sector to enhance and develop quality services for children and their families in County Westmeath.
  • To ensure effective and transparent collaboration, communication and consultation and optimum use of resources by all stakeholders in early childhood care and education.
  • To undertake research and analysis of childcare service provision in the area.
  • To update and develop the baseline data on childcare provision in County Westmeath.
  • To establish and maintain effective links with the appropriate county/regional structures such as the county development board, local development boards, local office of the Health Service Executive and other appropriate bodies.

Local Framework

Composition of Westmeath County Childcare Committee Directors2016

Officers / Organisation represented
Chairperson / Dermot Leavy / IFA
Vice Chairperson / Kieran Butler / Westmeath County Council
/ Westmeath County Council
Secretary / Dave Raftis / Community and Voluntary For a (soon to be PPN)
Treasurer / Noel O Callaghan / Community Representative
Director / Vacant / ETB
Director / Joyce Furlong / Community & Voluntary For a (soon to be PPN)
Director / Tracey Tallon / Local Enterprise Office
Member / Eamonn Farrell / Tusla
Director / Vacanty / National Voluntary representative
Director / Charney Weitzman / Union Rep
Director / Madeline O Neill / Service Provider representative
Director / Yvonne Toughy / Parents Rep


Westmeath County Childcare Committees (WCCC) was assigned by the National Childcare Strategy (2000) as the key local component in the development of a co-ordinated approach to quality childcare. Thirty-three CCCs were set up around the country and each has a legal status. WCCC has on average 16 members who are representative of the key stakeholders in the county.

WCCC receives funding from the Childcare Directorate for the operations of the Committee, allowing it to employ staff and implement actions contained in its Local Implementation Plans that are mandated by the Childcare Directorate as reflecting national policy objectives.


The Board of WCCC are accountability under law and to the Childcare Directorate and associated funders and agents.

WCCC is closely linked with Westmeath County Council. The role of WCCCs is in addition to, other existing supports and advisory services (Statutory and Non Statutory) and there to reinforce, enhance and provide a co-ordination mechanism at county level.

As Westmeath County Childcare will continue to work within the parameters of the County DevelopmentPlan 2014-2020 and the Local Economic and Community Development Plan 2016-2020.WCCC actively work with Westmeath County Council on planning applications, Comhairleach Awards, and local submission on town and village plans.


The priority objectives of the WCCC is to:

  • Ensure the effective administration and delivery at local level, of the three early childhood care and education programmes of the Childcare Directorate
  • Develop and promote quality standards and targets for the county
  • Enhance and develop co-ordination, information sharing and learning systems
  • Develop local childcare networks and support the inclusion of childminders
  • Identify training needs and develop targeted support strategies


The Board are the legal entity and governance structure of the WCCC and are mandated by the WCCCs memorandum and articles of association.

Members of WCCC Board individually and collectively as company directors and as a legal entity are subject to governance responsibilities and accountabilities under common law in general and the Companies Act 1963 and subsequent in particular. The DCYA as the original sponsor and primary funder of the CCC also attaches accountabilities related to standards of governance, performance,

accounting and reporting to its funding; as do other associated funding or oversight organisations including Pobal, Controller & Auditor General, Regional Assemblies, European Union; Revenue; Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement; and others as relevant or appropriate.


  • Establish policy and ensure delivery of above functions of the WCCC as outlined by key priorities of the DCYA in any given year.
  • Stewardship and accountability of funds and resources;
  • Employing and managing staff and resources to implement approved programmes of work;
  • Ensuring HR policies in relation to WCCC staff are in place and that standards and responsibilities pertaining to being an employer are met;
  • Providing strategic direction and continuity to the WCCC towards delivering its objectives and programmes;
  • Influencing government, policy makers and service providers;
  • Promoting and influencing a long-term vision of working effectively to improve outcomes for children, families and service providers.


WCCC Board membership should as far as possible represent appropriate agencies both statutory, non-statutory, service providers (private and community) and parents. The WCCC Board, through its membership, needs to represent and ensure appropriate expertise, representation and knowledge of early childhood care and education, as well as strong governance.

WCCC Board is experienced and well established. The Board of WCCC should ensure their memberships are of a size and composition that supports effective governance, operation and continuity.

Membership should be determined by the contribution or influence an agency / organisation / individual can have on the planning, development, resourcing or alignment of services within the county. Consideration should be given to voluntary or community organisations (including those with a cross cutting remit such as partnership companies and family resource centres).

In the absence of direct representation of a key agency, constituency or attribute, liaison arrangements should be put in place to ensure that there are opportunities to source requisite knowledge, expertise or information in order to ensure timely access as may be required.

The Childcare Directorate is available to provide support to the Board of WCCC towards securing appropriate representation and calibre of membership.

The current composition of the Board of WCCC comprise up to 23 seats. There are a number of ways a director/member may be elected or appointed to WCCC.

These include:

Members are appointed by an organisation for outside example Local Authority, Health Service Executive /TUSLA

Co-option some members may be appointed by the Board themselves

Ex-Officio One or more members may be appointed by the virtue of the office they hold

Election Individuals may be elected by a representative body who have a position on the CCC for example parent networks, childcare provider networks

WCCC use a combination of these methods to ensure effective representation on the Board of WCCC.

The following table outlines the procedure in place in Westmeath.

Organisation / Appointment / Method
Parents Representatives (2) / Via Parents Network / Voting and election every two years of P &T groups in Westmeath
(see appendix re procedure)
Community Childcare Representatives / Via Community Childcare Network / Voting and election every two years
Private Providers Representative / Via Private Providers Network / Voting and election every two years
Partnership / Nominated by WCD and ratified by the Board of WCCC / Nominated by CEO WCD
Westmeath ETB / Nominated by Westmeath VEC and ratified by WCCC Board / Nominated by CEOETB
HSE/TUSLA / Nominated by HSE and ratified by WCCC Board / Nominated by the relevant Childcare Manger
CEB / Nominated by CEB and ratified by WCCC Board / Nominated by CEB CEO
Local Authority / Nominated by Local Authority ratified by WCCC Board / Nominated by Director of Services Community and Enterprise
Union / Nominations sought from OMC- and ratified by WCCC Board / Contact IBEC/ SIPTU
ICTU / Nominations sought from OMC- and ratified by WCCC Board / Contact DCYA
Farming Orgs / Nominations sought from OMC or Local Farming Bodies and ratified by WCCC Board / Contact DCAY
Public Participation Network / Nominations sought from Westmeath PPN
and ratified by WCCC Board / The PPN nominate representatives and these change with the local elections
NVCO’s (2) / Nominations are sought from NVCO and are ratified by WCCC Board / Contact– NVCO Co-ordinator

Procedure for the election of Officers at the AGM( As per Articles of Association )

  1. 4 weeks prior to the AGM all eligible directors will be notified of AGM meeting date.
  2. At this time current elected Officers will make it known to the Board whether they are seeking re-election or not.
  1. Then at this meeting any Director of the Board who wishes to seek election for any of the officer’s positions will let it be known to the Board.
  1. If there is more than one nomination for any of the officers a ballot paper will be drawn up and circulated to all directors. This will be retuned to the office two days prior to the AGM.
  2. If there is only one person for the position they will be nominated by a Director for that Office.
  3. In the event of a tie the Chairperson will have the casting vote.
  4. In the event of an Officer retiring during the year the Board will nominate an Acting Officer for the remainder of that year until the next AGM.

Please note that the normal procedure of the stepping down of one third of the Board will take place.

The newly elected chair person will chair from the first Management Meeting after the AGM.

The new officers will take their positions at the first Management Meeting after the AGM.

The Rotation of directorsis outlined clearly in the Articles of Association for Westmeath County Childcare Committee.

Registered company number


Charitable status:

No. CHY 14993

Limited Company

Westmeath County Childcare Committee Limited was incorporated under the Companies Acts 1963 to 1999 on 21st of August 2001. The main objective of the company is to

Westmeath County Childcare Committee held its most recent AGM on5th May 2015

The following are the elected Officers of Westmeath CountyChildcare Committee:

Chairperson – Dermot Leavy (IFA)

Vice Chairperson –Kieran Butler – Westmeath County Council

Secretary – Dave Raftis - PPN

Treasurer –Noel O Callaghan (Community Provider)

Staff Liaison – Kieran Butler ( Westmeath County Council


The profile of current staff of Westmeath County Childcare Committee are as follows:

Manager : Muriel Flynn

Full Time Post Funded by NCIP

Reporting Structure: Chairperson of Westmeath County Childcare Committee.

Clerical Officer – Karen Murray

Full Time Post funded by NCIP

Reporting Structure: Manager, Westmeath CountyChildcare Committee

Childcare Development Officer 1 – Martina Boyce

Childcare Development Officer 2 – Phil Temple

Full Time Posts funded by NCIP

Reporting Structure:Manager, Westmeath CountyChildcare Committee

Board of WCCC

The Board of WCCC will have a strategic focus on the development of quality childcare in CountyWestmeath. The key aim of this group will be to co-ordinate the development of childcare and to pool resources and plan joint initiates between member organisations represented of the Board in line with the National Strategic policy in Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes.

Role of WCCC as a Board

The Board of WCCC is responsible for:

Determining the mission and vision of the organisation – only the Board has the power to create or change the mission and vision and all policies and actions of WCCC must be designed to help the company realise the aims laid out in the mission statement and outlined in the governing documents.

Engaging in strategic planning – the Board determines the strategic direction and policy for childcare in a County. Employed staff and/or external support may help facilitate and ideally the Board Meeting Agendas should link to key points in the Local Implementation Plans.

Formulating policies – the Board creates policies required to govern the organisation, providing guidance to Board members and staff, setting reporting systems and monitoring, establishing ethical framework for all those who work for or on behalf of the company.

Approving the WCCC programmes and services and ensuring they serve the WCCC’s Mission Statement

Enhancing the public image of the WCCC.

Carefully selecting and supporting new Board members so as to ensure quality of governance and leadership.

Carrying out board business efficiently by conducting productive meetings.

Understanding and respecting the relationship between board and staff.

Representation roles

The key responsibilities of the Chairperson are to:

  • Provide leadership and direction for the Board;
  • Chair meetings of the Board and manage the proceedings;
  • Ensure the effectiveness of the Board in all aspects of its role particularly in relation to HR issues and financial probity;
  • Take a lead role in determining and reviewing the process regarding the composition, structure and performance of the Board;
  • Ensure that the Board and CCC undertakes a thorough analysis of all issues and concerns;
  • Exploit the knowledge of Board members and ensure active participation and contributions during all meetings;
  • Ensure that all members of the Board have access to accurate, timely and relevant information;
  • Ensure that the Committee develops and implements a Local Implementation Plan;
  • To mentor and monitor Managers in their delivery of the Local Implementation Plan and national projects and initiatives.
  • Ensure the Board is true to the code of conduct and to the guiding principles and values of CCC both in its internal and external operations.
  • The Chairperson attends the DCYA/Pobal bi-annual events and represents WCCC in Childcare Committees Ireland.
  • The Chairperson must ensure that all directors are aware of the Boards commitment to the Governance Code and the high standards and responsibilities that each individual member/director is held accountable for.

In relation to the Manager/staff:

  • Participate on appointment panels for the Manager .
  • Ensure there are appropriate line management arrangements in place for all staff
  • Supports the Manager with any difficult situations that may occur.
  • Liaise with the Manager to develop the Board, ensuring all board members receive appropriate advice, training and information regarding their role.
  • Liaise with the Manager to keep an overview of the organisation’s affairs and to provide support and supervision.
  • Lead the process of appraising the performance of the Manager as outlined in the protocol agreement.
  • Oversee disciplinary procedures when appropriate as outlined in the staff handbook
  • Bring impartiality and objectivity to decision-making.
  • Demonstrate leadership in facilitating the Board to implement change when necessary and, in close liaison with the officers, address conflict within the Board and within the organisation.
  • Ensure the Board annually reviews its structure, its role and its relationship to staff and implements agreed changes as necessary.

Person Specification of the Chairperson

• Experience of leading committee work, particularly in the voluntary/community sector

• Direct knowledge and experience of the work of CCC

• Tact and diplomacy

• Good communication and interpersonal skills

• Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidence

• Experience of Childcare and related issues

• Socially and politically conscious

• Facilitation skills

• Understanding and ability to manage a power dynamic which can sometimes emerge in partnership work