Sinéad Matson has been working in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector in Ireland since 2001 and founded Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland (MECPI) in 2008, when it was known simply as Montessori Teachers Ireland. For sixteen years Sinead worked as an early childhood educator, a Montessori school manager, principal of a Montessori primary school, Montessori tutor at level 6, and lecturer in Montessori and Early Childhood Education and Care. Sinead holds a BA in Arts, a Higher Diploma in Montessori, a Master of Education Degree, and is currently completing a PhD in Education.
Sinéad has designed and written modules for various third level institutions and recently designed, wrote, and projected managed a new four year level 8 degree in Early Childhood Education and Care for a private training college in Dublin. She has also published reports and papers examining early childhood education and care in Ireland. She currently holds the role of External Examiner for a third level institute in Leinster.
Sinéad won a competitive scholarship for her PhD with Maynooth University. Her research examines ethical research practices with three Early Childhood Education and Care classes in a preschool and primary school run by a not for profit Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s) in urban India. Sinéad is passionate about professionalisation of the ECEC sector in Ireland and how we can have global conversations with other countries to help us reflect on our own practice.
Lee Herlihy is the proprietor and manager of Horizons Montessori School in Bishopston, Co. Cork. She has worked as a Montessori directress for 20 years and her school has been delivering quality Montessori experiences to children aged three to five years. In addition to her Montessori qualification, Lee successfully completed her honours degree in Early Childhood Education and Care with National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research on Children’s Friendship Formation in ECCE settings was so well received that she was subsequently invited back to NUI Galway to present it to their graduate programme.
Lee has been a voluntary administrator /moderator of Ireland's largest online community of practice, Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland (MECPI) on Facebook, since its inception 12 years ago. In addition to the administrative aspect, Lee has mentored and advised members of the group on their professional practice - in particular mapping the Montessori ethos and curriculum to Aistear. Lee delivered a master class on this subject at Early Childhood Ireland's annual conference in 2017 and also presented with Early Childhood Ireland at the Montessori Europe Congress in Dublin in October 2019.
Clair Battle has been a admin of MECPI for ten years. Her background is in Montessori where she spent some time working on private montessori private schools before moving on to lecture in Saint Nicholas Montessori College Ireland (SNMCI) in Co. Dublin. Clair holds a higher diploma in Montessori Education and Scrum Master in Project management . She moved into the role of Head of Information Technology for SNMCI combining both her qualifications and years of industry experience. Presently, Clair works in the area of Peer Led Learning in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) while also generating content and Web design for early years services. Clair has amassed a wealth of experience in creating online and distance learning methods and content for programmes and degrees for third level institutions during the design and validation process by Qualifications and Quality Ireland (QQI). Clair has also consulted for third level institutes in this role.