Director of Policy / Communications – Early Childhood Ireland – Dublin 24

Information Pack: This pack contains details of the Director of Policy and Communications role and the attributes which are sought in a successful candidate.


Employer – Early Childhood Ireland

Location – Tallaght, Dublin 24

This is a full time post reporting to the CEO.  The contract is permanent and full time and the probation period is one year.

A basic salary in the range €58k – €68k is offered.  The starting salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience, with some scope for negotiation

A pension contribution of 6% on successful completion of probation period is provided.

There is a holiday entitlement of 27 days, rising to 28 days after 5 years’ service.

Candidates must have a full current driving licence and own/have access to a car.  Travel and subsistence rates are available.

The position may require participation in meetings/events in the evenings and at the weekends.  You must be willing and able to work outside office hours as required.


Applications should be submitted by email to Susan Selfridge and arrive by 11.00 on Tuesday 9th June –  late applications will not be considered.

Applications should include a letter outlining suitability for the post indicating how the qualification requirements, skills and experience are met. The letter should be accompanied by a CV.

The names of three referees that have had recent dealings with the applicant, relevant to the role, should be included. Referees will not be contacted without the written permission of the candidate.

Screening and interview process

All applications received within the deadline will be screened against the role requirements and the person specification. Candidates who will be called for interview will be advised on 12th June by email.

The first round interviews will take place in the week commencing the 15th June.

It is likely that second round interviews will take place for candidates put forward from the first round.

Further assessment of recommended candidates, including further interview and psychometric tests, may be scheduled after round two. At this point, references will be sought, and candidates will be asked to confirm that the referees can be contacted.

Early Childhood Ireland is committed to best practice in everything we do and operates on the basis of equal opportunities. Applications are invited from all suitably qualified and eligible candidates. Appointment is based solely on merit and canvassing will disqualify.

If you have any queries concerning the post or the application process, please contact Susan Selfridge – email: or telephone: 01 4040646


POSITION:                Director of Policy & Communications

REPORTS TO:          THE CEO, Early Childhood Ireland

CONTRACT:             Full Time, Permanent

Job Purpose

The Director of Policy and Communications will direct and manage a high impact and effective team within Early Childhood Ireland. Reporting to the CEO, and as a member of the senior management team, the Director of Policy and Communications will play a key role in achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan 2015-2020. S/he will ensure an organisation-wide engagement with research, knowledge creation and management, informing the policy and advocacy goals and enhancing the organisation’s influence.   The post holder will be expected to achieve significant success in driving our communications and advocacy strategies.

The Director of Policy & Communications will contribute creatively and dynamically to the strategic development of the organisation, ensuring that the voice of Early Childhood Ireland impacts on the policy, legislation and practice which affects young children and their families.

The successful candidate will have at least 5 years’ experience of working at a strategic level in the areas of policy and advocacy/communications. S/he will have demonstrated a high level of managerial ability, with a focus on high performance and achievement of strategic goals, working in an integrated way with senior colleagues and teams across the organisations.


Ensuring, with the other members of the senior management team (SMT), the delivery of the Goals of the ECI strategic plan 2015-2020
As a member of the senior management team participate in the generation of new ideas and fresh approaches to how the organisation works.
Managing a team of staff with specific skill sets in communications, research, and policy development to a high level of performance to deliver on the ECI Strategic plan 2015-2020
Provide support, supervision and staff development opportunities for assigned staff
Strategically using and creating  ECI knowledge to contribute to/ influence national policy and the development of the organisation
Developing and delivering of the ECI  Communication Strategy, future proofing how we communicate with all stakeholders, across all platforms and monitoring reach and impact
Creating an evidence base, leveraging the strengths of ECI, to influence national policy and to future proof national policy
Managing organisation research, knowledge creation, and monitoring & evaluation, and ensuring that they impact on all of the work of the organisation
Managing policy development, advocacy and communication strategies and programmes
Developing and managing the specific research strategy and programme which is designed to support all areas of work in ECI – membership, policy, professional practice and governance
Identifying the information and evidence  needs of ECI and the ECE sector and ensuring that  the ECI research strategy is delivering these requirements, either through in-house or commissioned research
Implementing rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the ECI strategic plan
Developing and maintaining mechanisms for monitoring and analysing Irish and EU policies and legislation that impact on children and families
Signalling relevant national and European policy developments and devising responses based on the ethos and strategic goals of the organisation
Leveraging the strengths of ECI to develop and deliver an advocacy strategy, utilising existing knowledge, generating new knowledge and insight, consulting with members and other stakeholders, generating position documents and influencing policymakers using a range of advocacy techniques;
Ensuring that learning from ECI’s projects and research is gathered, shared and accessible to diverse audiences
Developing new and innovative ways of working with a wide range of diverse stakeholders, including strategies for signalling and engaging emerging audiences

Person Specification

Proven management skills and track record in a senior strategic role, with an ability to manage a variety of skill sets in different personnel to achieve strategic organisational goals
Strategic thinker with substantial knowledge of policy development, how  it relates to early childhood care and education and a capacity to see and understand the ‘big picture’
Strong background in research/knowledge, communications and information management and in the role of research and policy development in influencing change
Proven track record in strategic knowledge management
Proven ability in developing and executing advocacy campaigns with identifiable outcomes
Track record in the creative use of the range of communications platforms
Creative and dynamic person with excellent  leadership and mentoring skills
Excellent writing and analytical skills
Ability to work collaboratively with staff across the organisation, with ECI members, with key decision makers, and with other professionals who are stakeholders and champions of the sector
Ability to work under pressure, manage competing priorities and maintain a professional approach within a team context

Essential requirements

A relevant 3rd level professional qualification (Masters level) in an appropriate discipline
A minimum of 5 years senior management experience in a relevant area of work
Senior level track record in leading research and policy development, and in communications and advocacy
Experience in the NGO sector
Excellent communication skills – written, verbal and presentation
Demonstrated commitment to children, their lives, learning and rights

Terms and Conditions:

A competitive salary is offered for the post, commensurate with skills and experience. The contract is offered on a full time 35 hour per week basis.

The post is based in the Early Childhood Ireland offices in Tallaght.

The role will involve some travel, nationally and internationally. Access to the use of a car and a full driving licence are required.

Garda Vetting is a requirement of this post.


Applicants are required to submit a CV and a covering letter setting out their suitability for the role.

Applications should be sent to Susan Selfridge

Closing date for receipt of applications is 9th June at 11.00.

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