Montessori Alliance

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    1. Creating a structure to support & strengthen Early Years services in Ireland
    2. Montessori Exercises mapped to the Aistear Curriculum Framework
    3. Providing a rich online knowledge base for practitioners & parents
    4. Subscribe for €30 per year to access resources you can use in your setting
  • Halloween Activities

    Posted by admin on October 22, 2014


    We know the best form of inspiration comes from other Early Years professionals who have used their imaginations to create something you or I wouldn’t necessarily think of doing.  Halloween is just around the corner and the ideas are flying around the internet so we’re delighted to be able to bring a few of them to you in the following photo blog

    Read the rest of this post.

    Telling It As It Is – A Childcare Worker

    Posted by admin on October 12, 2014


    I am every-woman (or everyman).  I live in every county in the country. I work in crèches, playschools, preschools, Montessori, Steiner, and High Scope centres, forest schools and home-school hubs.   I offer quality care and education to babies, infants, children who crawl, children who walk but don’t talk, children who talk but not much, children who are starting to need to be around other children for important, formative social experiences, children who need to be very active in loads of different environments, including the outdoors, and with children who are hungry to learn about the world around them and all the people in it.


    Read the rest of this post.

    A Taste of Autumn – Bea Sommer

    Posted by admin on October 6, 2014

    A taste of Autumn Oct 2014 p5

    We’re lucky enough to be part of a very active and generous community. During the past month we came across Bea Sommer’s beautiful pictures which we thought really captured Autumn in Ireland. We contacted Bea and asked if we could share her pictures via a photo blog on our website and she graciously has given us permission.  Bea is based in Co Wicklow and to let you know a little bit more about her we’ve taken the following from her website.


    Read the rest of this post.


    Posted by admin on October 2, 2014

    Healthy Ireland

    In recognition of the valuable role Pre-school providers can play in promoting children’s health and well-being, Department of Health funding has been made available to BCCN, the Border Counties Childhood Network to secure the nationwide delivery of the Healthy Ireland Smart Start Training programme for Pre –School services

    Working in collaboration with Health Improvement Division of the HSE and CCC’s Pre-school providers across Ireland are invited to register their interest in participating in this new national initiative to develop Health Promoting Pre-school services.  Two hundred and sixty places exist across the country for providers to engage in piloting this 21 hour programme between October and December 2014 Read the rest of this post.

    Outdoor Play & Learning Centre – Irene Teeling

    Posted by admin on September 25, 2014

    Apple Blossom Cottage Outdoor Play and Education Irene Teeling

    My name is Irene Teeling and I have recently been accepted into the final five in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition for our region. I stand a 1 in 5 chance of being put forward to the national final and even those who are not put forward to the final are eligible for receiving start-up funding.

    My plan is to build an Outdoor play and Learning facility which would benefit all early years teachers as it would be open for school trips. This facility would also be open to families and I would be moving my own school onto the grounds of the Centre. Read the rest of this post.

    Increased Workload – Caroline McDonnell

    Posted by admin on September 23, 2014

    kentstown logo

    Caroline McDonnell runs a service in Kentstown, Navan, Co. Meath.  She felt so strongly about recent changes Pobal have introduced, that she decided to put pen to paper and let the people who are making the changes and creating the policies she has to work within, know how difficult it is for providers of Early Years services in Ireland to continue offering the Free Preschool Year.

    Read the rest of this post.

    Autumn Resources

    Posted by admin on September 14, 2014

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    We have a number of resources available to download from our website for the theme of Autumn.  If you’re a subscriber to our website these resources are included in your subscription so all you need to do is click here and log into your account to access them.  If you’re not a subscriber to our website these resources are available to buy in our online shop They are also available in ‘Ready to Put on Your Shelf’ format and if you’d like to place an order fill in this form and email it back to

    Read the rest of this post.

    What to do

    Posted by admin on September 9, 2014

    boy standing alone

    We’ve been contacted a number of times about a child’s challenging behaviour in a setting and while we are not experts we like to help by providing a listening ear and supporting the childhood professional in whatever way we can.  To this end we’ve compiled a couple of different scenarios and strategies aimed at assisting and empowering staff dealing with a similar situation.


    Read the rest of this post.

    HighScope All Ireland Conference 2014

    Posted by admin on September 4, 2014

    HighScope_Ireland_Logo med

    HighScope Ireland Institute are holding an all Ireland conference on Monday the 13th of October 2014 in the Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, co. Mayo. Speakers include Dr. Geraldine Neylon who is an assistant professor in Early Childhood Education and Shannon Lockhard from the HighScope Foundation.

    The conference will be chaired by Jenny Bernard, Early Years’ Service Manager in TUSLA; Norah Gibbons, Chair of the Board of TUSLA; and Siobhán Fitzpatrick, CEO of Early Years. It will be a mix of looking at quality in Irish pre-schools and policy perspectives. It also includes an evaluation of the implementation of the HighScope Approach in early years settings in Mayo. Read the rest of this post.

    Employment References – Angela Canavan

    Posted by admin on August 29, 2014


    The taking up of references is an important part of any recruitment process.  Employers depend on it as part of their selection criteria so that they can secure the best person for the job. Employees, on the other hand rely on a suitable reference to secure employment.

    Strictly speaking under employment law employers are not obliged to give a reference and many employers use this fact to avoid providing one.  However, it is not a simple as this.  Not providing a reference can have serious implications for the career of a candidate and can expose an employer legally, for example through equality legislation, if as an employer you treat employees differently and give one but not another a reference this could cause a serious backlash to the employer.  Read the rest of this post.

    Spring, the season of new life & new challenges – Trish Murphy Murray

    Posted by admin on August 13, 2014

    spring 2014

    Greetings from Margaret River – August 2014

    We are starting our 4th week of term tomorrow, with another 6 to go after that!  June, July & August is Winter time in Australia, so where we are in the South West is generally colder and wetter than Perth!  For this reason lots of families pack up their caravans, trailer tents and head North to warmer climates.  They don’t just for the 2 weeks of the mid term they head off for anything from 4 – 10 weeks! Read the rest of this post.

    Career Opportunities

    Posted by admin on August 11, 2014

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    The past few weeks have been very busy as settings try to source staff for September. Here’s a round up of the jobs posted to our website since the beginning of July.

    Posted 11/08/2014

    Employer: Angela Deighan’s Montessori School, Rampart View, Virginia, Co. Cavan

    Position: After School Leader required for September 2014

    Requirements:  Candidate needs to have the minimum of a FETAC Level 6 qualification. Duties include school pick up of children aged 6+ An ability to coordinate several tasks such as homework completion, age appropriate activities, meal time and record keeping. Applicants need to possess a full clean driving licence and a Food Hygiene certificate would be an advantage

    Contact:  Please forward your CV and cover letter to

    Read the rest of this post.

    Closing Cherubs Montessori School – Gabrielle McManus

    Posted by admin on July 31, 2014

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    On Friday July 18th 2014 I 100% decided to close my Montessori school. I started to realise that I might have to close in May when, after having 2000 leaflets delivered, enrollments for September were not coming. When the school year ended in June I was 50/50. As July progressed, no more enrollments came I say I decided to close but really I had no choice. I didn’t have enough children enrolled to cover my costs. It was a no brainer really, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy to decision to come to.

    I opened in September 2003. Back then, in the old days, parents paid the fees, and when parents choose to send their child to preschool it was for a reason. Usually that reason was to help the child to progress and learn, to develop language skills and to socialise. Sometimes parents wanted 3 child free hours a day, but whatever the reason, there was a reason. Parents had to justify the money they were spending and usually put some thought into choosing the preschool. Read the rest of this post.

    Job Alerts – July 2014

    Posted by admin on July 21, 2014


    Posted 21/07/2014

    Employer: Manor Montessori Ltd., Park House, Ashdale Rd., Terenure, Dublin 6W

    Position: Full time Montessori teacher required. 37hr working week, 9am – 6pm

    Requirements: Minimum Full FETAC Level 5 qualification which includes Montessori teaching. Experience an advantage

    Contact:  If interested please contact Emma or Maria on 01 4902648

    Read the rest of this post.

    Online Shop

    Posted by admin on July 18, 2014

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    Visit our new online shop to purchase our Language, Mathematics, Biology, History and Geography material in pdf format.  A link will be emailed to you so you can download the pdfs you have purchased as soon as payment has been made. Our online shop is in the process of being uploaded with stock so keep checking back to see what has been added. Read the rest of this post.

    Have a Look inside

    Posted by admin on July 9, 2014


    The January 2012 edition of our Newsletter contained a gallery of pictures which showed the layout of rooms in 5 Early Years settings, 3 located in Ireland, 1 in Italy and 1 in South Africa. We decided to repost the pictures as a blog as we have received a request via our Facebook page from a person who is starting out and setting up her own early years service. The members of our community both here and on our Facebook page have been very generous and have offered to welcome her into their settings so she can experience their layout first hand and ask as many questions as she wants.  We hope you enjoy these pictures Read the rest of this post.

    Montessori to Aistear Mapping Tool

    Posted by admin on July 8, 2014

    aistear adv fbk

    The Montessori to Aistear Mapping tool enables the adult to map the exercises the child uses in a Montessori environment to the Aistear Curriculum Framework.

    This resource itemised the Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Culture exercises and indicates which Aim and Learning Goal of each of Aistear’s themes; Well Being, Communicating, Exploring & Thinking and Identity & Belonging they fit in to.

    Included in the mapping tool is a recording template which can be used to record what exercise the child is doing and which aims & learning goals of the Aistear Curriculum Framework it corresponds to. Read the rest of this post.

    How many people are working in your setting?

    Posted by admin on July 5, 2014

    Staff in Early Years Settings 5th July 2014

    Here is the result of the little piece of research we asked people who visit our Facebook page to participate in. We had 28 respondents which really isn’t a lot so if you feel inclined to add how many people (including yourself) are working in your setting send us an email to and we can redo the chart. Let us know what country you work in as well.

    Read the rest of this post.

    Our Outdoor Space – Rachel Berns, Kavan Kids Kreche

    Posted by admin on July 4, 2014

    Kavan Kids Kreche

    Just a brief  outline of our story.  Kavan Kids Kreche has been open since June 12th 2006, and this years is our 8th anniversary. We are a full day care and Montessori. We also have a Montessori school in Redhills.  Our staff include myself Rachel, and Anna, we are also the owners of the service.  The other members of our team are Veronica (Montessori Teacher), Eileen (Preschool Assistant), Antoinette (Childcare Assistant), Olivia (Relief Childcare Assistant and Louise (Childcare Assistant who is presently on maternity leave). The Department of Children & Youth Affairs Childcare Capital Grant Programme has enabled us to create the wonderful organic outdoor space pictured below. Read the rest of this post.

    Job Alerts posted in June 2014

    Posted by admin on June 27, 2014


    Posted 27/06/2014

    Employer: Little Dale Academy, Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin

    Position: Full time Junior Montessori teacher to work with 2 other Montessori teachers in a class of 14 children aged 2.5 to 2.8 years of age. Position commences in mid August 2014.

    Requirements:  Montessori Teacher with Montessori qualification at Fetac Level 5. Experience in a similar role necessary.

    Contact:  Interviews will be scheduled for week commencing the 14th of July 2014. Please forward your CV and cover letter to or call 01 2888836 for further information

    Read the rest of this post.

    Pre Fetac Qualifications…

    Posted by admin on June 16, 2014


    Just in case you want to check where your pre FETAC qualification sits on the National Framework of Qualifications have a look at this extract from the DCYA website.

    Qualifications that are not on the National Qualifications Framework

    ‘If you have a childcare qualification which predates the National Framework for Qualifications and which you believe is equivalent to a Level 5 or Level 6 for the purposes of the introduction of new qualifications, the information below is particularly relevant to you.

    If your qualification has previously been recognised by DCYA for the purposes of a childcare scheme, it will be recognised at the same level for the purposes of the new qualifications. Similarly if it has been indicated that the qualification has not been recognised for the purposes of the schemes it will not be recognised in this context either. .
    If you do not know what the qualification might be recognised as for the purposes of DCYA, please email your details and the relevant qualification documents to Please do not send certificates of attendance at workshops or courses, as these are not relevant to the decision. We cannot give recognition to any course that did not result an award made by a recognised awarding body Queries regarding qualifications can only be taken through the mailbox and not on the phone as it is important for us to be able to assess the documentation.
    Depending on the level of queries we get, it may be up to two weeks before we can finalise decisions.’

    Anti Bullying Strategies – Pamela Purcell

    Posted by admin on June 13, 2014


    Do you think the Montessori Method is particularly good at heading off any tendencies for an individual child or group of children to dominate another child? If you think it is, perhaps it is because you feel the Montessori Method offers plenty of opportunities for freedom of movement, social interaction, Grace and Courtesy Exercises, and as a consequence children in our Montessori schools naturally sort out potential conflicts.  And with the constant collection of observations by the Director/Directress of how children are interacting, she/he will stave off negative encounters and behaviours. Read the rest of this post.

    Association of Childhood Professionals 1st Birthday Bash

    Posted by admin on June 9, 2014

    official ACP banner May 2013 crp 151

    We had a brilliant day on Saturday at the Association of Childhood Professionals conference in Cork. Fantastic inspirational key note speakers and thought provoking workshops ensured the day was a big success.

    The conference was to celebrate the first birthday of the national body which was launched in June 2013 by the then Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald. I was at the launch, and it came on the heels of what had to be a very black day in Ireland for early childhood settings as a few days before the launch the Prime Time programme, ‘A Breach of Trust’ aired. To say Childhood Professionals were reeling from the bad practice they witnessed when watching the programme is to put it mildly.  Read the rest of this post.

    A Positive Reaction to a Positive Thing – David King

    Posted by admin on May 30, 2014

    david king feb 2014

    My last blog surprised me by the attention it received. It got shared all over Facebook and the internet & became a bit of a talking point.  It got some attention outside of the normal circles; in fact, if I am honest it got a lot of attention, a lot more than I ever imagined.  It was a relatively short blog that put across my frustration and (perhaps) my disappointment at some of the negative reaction that both I and other males in our sector have experienced. I raised the issue of gender stereotypes, and how deep-rooted they have become in our society. I argued (and still do) that these stereotypes are so ingrained in us as a society that it genuinely makes people feel very uncomfortable and almost agitated when people stray from their socially agreed upon gender role. Read the rest of this post.

    Word Families

    Posted by admin on May 25, 2014

    Irregularities Families & Folders montage fbk adv

    54 word lists and 8 folders have been uploaded to our website. Irregularities in the English language create confusion which is compounded when different combinations of letters make the same single sound (air (fair) & are (fare). In a Montessori setting we call such groupings Families.

    The child gradually notices the similarity in sound & the difference in letters and often asks ‘why do ‘air’ and ‘are’ make the same sound?’ Answering this question is extremely difficult and beyond the skill of most unless of course the adult is a linguist.


    Read the rest of this post.

    New Life in Treasures’ Montessori Preschool – Ida Lane

    Posted by admin on May 24, 2014

    Chicks May 2014 Blog 3

    Just after the May Bank holiday our regular blogger Ida Lane from Treasure’s Montessori Preschool sent us this wonderful photo blog. Unfortunately with one thing and another we didn’t get to post it until now. It really is great to be connected to people who are so willing to share what is going on in their setting. By seeing & reading their blogs we appreciate the diversity and creativity in each setting.


    Read the rest of this post.

    Early Years Service Owners & Managers in Ireland Survey May 2014

    Posted by admin on May 22, 2014


    Following on from our discussions about Montessori and childcare services employing FETAC Level 7 staff and the reasons involved on the services’ behalf, we at Montessori Alliance decided to put together an anonymous survey to try to collect more specific information on the costs and challenges faced by services in the current economic climate. The hope is to provide a more rounded discussion with information from all parties in order to bring balance to the conversation. We would really appreciate it if service owners and managers who work in Ireland would take the time to fill out this anonymous survey. Please be advised that the information collected is on a completely anonymous basis and no personal information or specific identifying information is required. Thank you for participating & please share the link below.

    Early Years Service Owners & Mangers in Ireland Survey May 2014

    Language Resources

    Posted by admin on May 13, 2014

    green box words & pics y adv tbl

    We’ve just added 15 pdfs to our Language section for the 0-6 year old child. The pdfs contain pictures & corresponding word cards for the irregularities in the English language. The English language is unfortunately full of irregularities so it is not sufficient for a child to know only all of the sounds the letters of the alphabet make, they need to know how the sounds of letters can change when they are put together.


    Read the rest of this post.

    Job Alerts – May 2015

    Posted by admin on May 12, 2014


    Posted 12/05/2014


    Employer: Willow Montessori, Cabinteely, Dublin 18.


    Position:  Montessori Assistant, commencing September 2014. We are seeking a dynamic, motivated and caring individual.


    Requirements:   Minimum FETAC Level 7 Montessori qualification. Fluent in spoken & written English. Be able to maintain professionalism in all aspects of childcare practice. Be committed to the provision of a quality childcare service.


    Contact:  Please forward an up to date CV and covering letter to


    Read the rest of this post.

    Term 1 Done! – Trish Murphy Murray

    Posted by admin on May 7, 2014


    Happy Easter to you all in Montessori Alliance and everybody reading this blog!

    I believe the weather is similar to what we are having here at the moment, blue skies and sunshine!  The last few weeks of the term were busy so by the end of it we; children, parents and teachers, were in need of the 2 week holiday we are now enjoying!

    Read the rest of this post.

    Report from the ACP Open Forum – Pamela Purcell

    Posted by admin on May 1, 2014

    official ACP banner May 2013 crp 151

    The Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP) Open Forum was held at The Gresham Hotel on Sat 26th April 2014. Marian Quinn ACP Chairperson gave a rousing and positive introductory talk that gave us all food for thought as to how we can widen our reach as ACP members and affiliate sand get our voice across to the powers that be and take action as other sectors in Irish society have had to do in order for that voice to be taken seriously. Read the rest of this post.

    Arts & Crafts in Treasures’ Montessori Preschool – Ida Lane

    Posted by admin on April 28, 2014

    Arts & Crafts April 2014 Blog pic 4

    Ida Lane from Treasures’ Montessori has sent us another photo blog of the activities she and her young charges have been doing during April.  As you’ll see some of her photographs are of Easter activities, Ida sent us her blog before Easter but we haven’t had a chance to post it up until now.  We’re sure you’ll enjoy her blog and will get a couple of ideas from it to use in your own setting – Lyn


    Read the rest of this post.

    Update from TUSLA Consultation 9th April 2014

    Posted by admin on April 11, 2014

    official ACP banner May 2013 crp 151

    The Association of Childhood Professionals (Ireland) participated in the recent consultation hosted by Fiona McDonnell from TUSLA. The aim of the session was to let stakeholders know about & discuss the proposed registration model and standard based inspection model early years settings will be required to operate under. Our colleagues in ACP have posted the following summary of the discussion.

    Read the rest of this post.

    No Sew Stuffed Rabbits – Clochan Cora Montessori

    Posted by admin on April 7, 2014

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    The children in Clochan Cora Montessori, Rush, Co. Dublin made these beautiful sock bunnies last week. We thought they looked fabulous so we asked Nicole from Clochan Cora if she would share her pictures and instructions on how to make them with us and she did!

    Pop over the to their Facebook page and let them know if you like their bunnies.

    Read the rest of this post.

    Career Opportunities – April 2014

    Posted by admin on April 4, 2014


    It’s only the 4th of April but there have been a flurry of career opportunities posted on our website.

    Posted 04/04/2014

    Employer: Dorset College, 66 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1

    Position:  Montessori Teacher required for academic project. Part-time, flexible

    Requirements:   Relevant Montessori Qualification. Masters degree in relevant discipline. Minimum 3-5 years relevant teaching experience. Knowledge of QQI Policies & Procedures

    Contact:  Please email your CV and covering letter to:

    Read the rest of this post.

    Our New Outdoor Area – Lee Herlihy, Horizon’s Montessori Cork

    Posted by admin on April 2, 2014

    outdoor kitchen blog April 2014 1

    Our new outdoor area is open and ready for the children to explore and enjoy. It took a lot of thought and I found the ideas posted by others on the internet a great source of inspiration. Barry from Prohome managed to make sense of my thoughts and bring them to life, without his willingness to sit and actively listen to my plans and figure out how to produce the finished product I fear my grand ideas would have stayed locked in my head. We hope you enjoy looking at our photo blog and maybe even get a bit of inspiration to help you develop your own outdoor space.


    Read the rest of this post.

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