Pedagogical Leader Award sponsored by WESCO

Shortlisted Entries -Early Childhood Pedagogical Leader Award are

The shortlisted entries for the Early Childhood Pedagogical Leader Award are:

• Evelyn Reilly

Kidz@Play Playschool and Afterschool, The Grove, Newtown Hall Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

• Caroline McDonnell
Kentstown Montessori and After School, Navan, Co. Meath.

• Catrina Cooney
Happy Days Playschool, Kildangan, Kinnegad, Co. Meath.

• Sarah O Leary
Cheeky Cherubs Early Years Schools, Highfield Park, Carriganarra, Ballincollig, Cork.

• Nicky Munro
The Learning Tree, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

Play Video

Watch the above video for more information on the shortlisted entries.

Early Childhood Ireland

National Annual Awards

Pedagogical Leader Award sponsored by WESCO

Pedagogical leadership drives quality in Early Learning and Care provision to the benefit of children (Hallet, 2013). Early Childhood Ireland wants to celebrate and learn from these leaders in our membership. Our vision of a Pedagogical Leader is of a role model for our times. The statement’s simplicity belies the strong, yet nurturing dispositions required to be such a leader in the complex Early Learning and Care sector. This leader holds close inclusive regard for all the children, families, pedagogues, and ancillary staff members within their setting and beyond. A leader who has  knowledge, understanding, and belief in their pedagogy of practice and lives it with passion and compassion. 

A pedagogical leader recognises that the core of early learning is to ensure the quality of the day-to-day lives of children, who keeps abreast of current evidence and issues in early learning and disseminates this information to staff (Kagan and Bowman, 1997). Pedagogical leaders ensure that practices are appropriate for children and advocate on behalf of children and families.

ECI’s member services are invited to nominate an educator/manager in their service who they believe is a pedagogical leader.

Every application will be judged using the criteria established for that award

Criteria for Short-listing and Judging – Pedagogical Leader Award sponsored by WESCO

Please use the awards application form to demonstrate how an educator:



  • Gives visibility to the competencies and contributions of babies, young children and preschool children.
  • Deepens engagement with families as partners in their children’s learning
  • Ensures that from the start, children are asked their views demonstrating a dialogue between children and adults based on reciprocal respect.
  • Demonstrates that children’s views were listened to, given consideration and all outcomes were communicated with children.


  • Demonstrates a partnership and collaboration with the community.
  • Values, promotes and celebrates respect for diversity, equity and inclusion.


  • Uses and disseminates current evidence and thinking in early learning in developing a culture of improvement.
  • Develops a culture of reflective practice so that professional development happens day after day.
  • Uphold the rights of children and adults and works with the soundest of ethics.
  • Fosters open communication and dialogue.


  • Articulates the centrality of children’s play in learning and development and supports and mentors’ educators to implement an emergent enquiry-based curriculum.
  • Plans for and builds shared collective leadership in the service to make changes and to improve practices, to the benefit of children and families.




Application form

Documentation and Supporting Evidence requirements

Resources to support you in applying for this award

 Key dates for your diary

Opening date

19 April 2021

Closing date

31 May 2021

Award Winners announced

8 October 2021

Please email if you have any questions

Early Childhood Ireland

Funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, 2007-2015 Company Registration No: 506235
Charity No CHY: 19987
Registered Charity No: 20078904

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