Our Members

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors in made up of people from the statutory, community and voluntary sectors, social partners, parents and childcare providers, who sit in a voluntary capacity. See below for information on our staff members also.

They are:

Ed Drew, Chairperson

My current role is Development Manager within North Dublin Citizens Information. Prior to this I spent ten years working in the disability sector in education, respite and residential care roles and in later years as a Social Care Manager. Throughout my career I have been a strong advocate for children, people with additional needs and more recently for those who are having trouble accessing their rights and entitlements. 

I hold a BA Degree in Social Studies through Blanchardstown I.T and a Post Graduate Diploma in Employment Law through the Law Society of Ireland. 

I live in Sallins and have three young daughters who are availing of, or will avail of childcare locally. This and the promotion of inclusion in education for all children is what made me apply for the board position. 



Edel Smyth, Company Secretary

Living in Kildare and a mum of three, Edel has a particular interest in the quality of childcare in the area. Edel joined the Board in 2018.

She has worked in the public sector for over 20 years, in various roles which have included education, information management, communications, quality, governance, compliance, risk management and continuous improvement.

Edel holds an MBs in Business Practice and an MSc in Food Science as well as a H Dip. in Education and a PG Dip. in Public Relation




 David McCarthy

David joined KCCC in May 2021 as Financial Director and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee within KCCC. 

David has 17 years experience in the financial services sector, having worked as Senior Manager in Business Banking in AIB Bank, to heading up the Hospitality Sector for AIB Bank, and then from 2021 moving into a new role as Regional & Sectoral Head of Business Banking in Permanent TSB, with overall responsibility for Dublin North, North East and West of Ireland regions as well as Hospitality & Tourism, Transport & Logistics, Healthcare and Manufacturing & Food sectors. 

David holds a BA In Music and Philosophy, an MA in Computer Music, and an MA in Digital Media Technology. He is also a Qualified Financial Advisor, with a Diploma in Financial Services and a Diploma in SME Credit from Institute of Bankers.

David lives in Kildare and has 3 children, one of whom passed away in 2017 having been born with a neurological condition and hence linked in with multiple services within the community. It is this experience that spurred David to take up a position on the board of KCCC. 


 Kathryn Brennan

As a working parent of two primary school aged children Kathryn understands and appreciates the need for good quality childcare in Kildare, which is why she was delighted to be appointed to the board of KCCC.

Kathryn has 15+ years working in Financial Services.  She holds a Professional Diploma in Compliance and a Degree in Legal Studies with Business. She has previously served as a trustee on the Board of the Citizen's Advice Bureau for the London Borough of Hounslow.




Yvonne Darragh

Yvonne Darragh was the owner of Playworld Day Nursery in the centre of Clane village. She ran her service for over twenty-six years. The service grew and at one point had three outlets in the village.

Yvonne trained in Child Development, Early Childhood Curriculum, Special needs Assisting and Child Psychology. She incorporated all the government schemes for children including NCS, ECCE, CCSP, CCSR-T, TEC, AIM and Better Start in the daily running of her service. She has worked in the community and voluntary sector which has included volunteering for the Simon Community in Dublin.

Yvonne served on the board of management for the Clane Village Centre for a number of years. She held the positions of Secretary and Treasurer on several occasions.

Yvonne lives in Clane and has one son.  She is honoured to join the Board as Director of Childcare Services.


Nicola McDonnell 

Susan Webster



Our Staff

KCCC employs five full-time and two part-time staff members.

Julie McNamara, CEO

Julie McNamara is the CEO of Kildare County Childcare Committee where she has worked since 2004.  Julie is a UCC graduate, of the first BA in Early Childhood Studies Degree in Ireland, where she obtained a First Class Honours Degree in 2000.  Julie also holds a M.Soc.Sc in Youth and Community work and a Diploma in Community Leadership. 

Julie has worked in the Community and Voluntary sector since the age of 17 which has included: volunteering for Oxfam in India, Simon Community in Galway, and as a Childcare worker for the Traveller community in Cork.  Julie has worked in the area of disability and coordinated a Project for young men at risk in Mallow, Co. Cork prior to returning to Kildare to take up her position with KCCC. 

Julie is passionate about working for young children and families and values the rights of the child.  Julie works from the principles of community development and believes everyone has the right to be heard, included and empowered. Julie believes Early Childhood lays the foundations for the rest of the life cycle and is committed to working towards ensuring young children in Kildare receive the best outcomes possible. 

Julie is Mother to Aisha, enjoys her job, running, yoga, cooking, gardening, travelling, and music.   

                                                                                               Contact Julie on - julie@kccc.ie



Ashling Henderson, Administrator

                                                                                             Ashling has worked in KCCC since 2017. She has over 15 years administration experience and prior to working in Kildare County Childcare Committee she worked in Health Services. Ashling holds a Degree in Business Management, a Certificate in Company Secretarial Law & Practice and a Level 8 Certificate in Data Prot           

                                                                                             Contact Ashling on: ashling@kccc.ie





Emily Moore, Development Officer

Emily has worked in KCCC since 2006 and has seen a lot of changes in the sector in that time, her role here in KCCC is Development Officer working with all the childcare services in Kildare to offer support and information to administer the National Childcare Funding programmes on behalf of the DCEDIY and Pobal. A significant element of the role involves the contracting, compliance, Fee policies, PIP/Hive registrations and further support regarding registered Early Years Services to comply with the 2016 Regulations. Emily also offers advice to parents and the general public on a variety of issues relating to the Early Learning and Care sector.  Emily's background over many years has been with Community organisations, Communications and Customer Service.

Contact Emily on - emily@kccc.ie




Catherine Colleton, Development Officer

Catherine is Development Officer with Kildare County Childcare Committee, having worked with KCCC since 2019. Catherine has a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and has 10 years’ experience working in the childcare sector, both as a practitioner and in management roles. Catherine also has a QQI Level 6 Train the Trainer Qualification, is a fully qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer and has 12+ years’ experience coaching children’s gymnastics. Catherine’s ‘on the gound’ experience provides her with the knowledge to support and advise service providers, staff and parents within the early years sector.

Catherine enjoys spending time with her family, fitness and music. 

Contact Catherine on - catherine@kccc.ie 




Amy Dempsey, Development Officer

Amy joined the KCCC team in January 2020 as Development Officer. Amy has a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies and an MA in Child, Family and Community Studies. She also holds a QQI Level 6 Training Delivery and Evaluation. Amy has been working in the childcare sector for 12 years, with experience working as a practitioner and also in management positions. She also worked abroad for 4 years in the U.A.E and China as a kindergarten teacher. In her spare time, Amy enjoys travel, cooking and reading.

Contact Amy on  - amy@kccc.ie





Jane Beatty, Development Officer

Jane has worked with KCCC since 2016. She has extensive experience in the semi-state and not-for-profit sectors, including NCGE (an agency of the Department of Education and Science), Barnardos, OPEN and Northside Partnership. Having completed the Masters in Child, Family and Community Studies in TU Dublin most recently, Jane also holds a BA(Hons) in History and English, a Higher Diploma in Library and Information Studies and a diploma in Horticulture. Jane's experience includes Information management, editing publications and writing/editing online content. Jane is interested in children's rights, and in working with families and with childcare professionals to ensure the best early care and education for children.

Jane enjoys gardening, being outdoors with her family and travel.

Contact Jane on: jane@kccc.ie




Louise Quinn, Childminding Development Officer

Louise joined the KCCC team in May 2022 working in partnership with childminders and providing opportunities for training, information sessions, local network events, and support for all childminders in Kildare.  

Louise has twenty- years’ experience, working in a variety of roles including, Tusla Registered Childminder, QQI tutor for level 5 certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education and as a creche manager. Louise works in collaboration with the National Childminding Development Officers team in implementing the National Action Plan for Childminding 2021-2028 at a local level in the county of Kildare.

Louise enjoys Cooking travelling and spending time with her family in her spare time.

Contact Louise on rcmdo@kildarechildcare.ie





Jeanette Gallagher, Development Officer 

     Jeanette is originally from Yorkshire and has been living in Kildare since 1998. Watching her two boys blossom when they attended Montessori were her inspiration to become a Montessori teacher. Jeanette has 11 years experience of childcare, initially in an ECCE room and later as a supervisor before joining KCCC.

     Jeanette has a degree in Educational Studies from Leeds Beckett University and has  completed the LINC course. More  and more recently she has completed more  CPD elements on line, she has a post graduate certificate in Art Therapy.

     She enjoys the challenge of climbing some of Ireland’s beautiful mountains and I am an avid reader. 

     You can contact Jeanette at comdev@kildarechildcare.ie 






Teresa Cave, Programme Administrator                                                                                                                 

  Teresa joinedTeresa Cave Programme Administrator KCCC as Programmes Administrator in 2023, with 20 years experience of working within  the Community, she is a qualified Instructor/Trainer  with 20 years experience of working in the adult education and development sector, where she delivered QQI accredited training for Major Awards.

  Teresa is also an accredited life and Executive Coach. 

  Mother to two daughters and a son, Teresa enjoys spending time with family, interior design and gardening.


 You can contact Teresa on info@kccc.ie




Copyright 2023 by Kildare County Childcare Committee