Member Code of Conduct


Early Childhood Ireland aims to provide a high quality of service to our members, in a safe and secure . It is also our duty to ensure, insofar as it is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of our employees and board members. We set the highest standard of professional conduct at all times and work within the context of the Organisations Vision and Mission. To ensure the best possible experience for our members, we have established guidelines for participation which will underpin all engagements between staff and members.

We require our members to adhere to this Code of Conduct.

This Code of Conduct covers all communications with Early Childhood Ireland board and staff, including in person, by electronic means, at meetings and conferences and so on.

Early Childhood Ireland board and staff will communicate with members with integrity, diligence, and impartiality and with courtesy, consideration, fairness and promptness. At all times our employees have a right to expect dignity and respect from our members. We ask our members to note that certain behaviours will not be accepted in the provision of any of our services or in any communications.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us in order to preserve an environment that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue.  Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct, which we expect to be a rare occurrence, may result in a withdrawal of some or all member services, which while regrettable may be necessary. We reserve the right to alter, suspend or terminate membership of our organisation to anyone who violates this Code of Conduct.

We expect Members and their employees, agents and representatives to:

  • Show respect and courtesy to Early Childhood Ireland and staff at all times;
  • Treat staff with respect and dignity;
  • Allow staff reasonable time to respond to requests for information, assistance or any of our services and . What is deemed reasonable time will depend on the nature of the query.

We will not tolerate:

  • The use of foul, abusive, offensive or discriminatory language in any interaction with or when referring to any member(s) of Early Childhood Ireland or staff;
  • Raised voices or shouting during any communications with staff;
  • Making threats or unreasonable demands towards or staff;
  • Identifying or criticising any staff member(s) publicly and/or online;
  • Sharing images of any staff member(s);
  • Discriminating against any staff member on the grounds of race, colour, age, religion or political beliefs, disability or illness, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, class, learning abilities, appearance or employment status;
  • Engaging in any form of harassment.

Early Childhood Ireland will:

  • Ask a member who is breaching this Code to cease any behaviours outlined above and afford the member the opportunity to desist from the behaviour;
  • End a call or an email or other communication politely, where they feel this is necessary by informing the caller that they are doing so and why;
  • Notify a manager as soon as possible about the incident(s) using procedure laid out below.

 Allegations of Breach of this Code

Childhood Ireland, as an employer, takes our responsibilities around due care of our staff seriously and make the following commitments:

  • Always investigate and treat allegations of unacceptable behaviour seriously;
  • Investigate and adjudicate upon the complaint fairly and impartially and in accordance with the requirements of natural and constitutional justice
  • Take action appropriate to how serious the alleged breach of the code is, and in line with the procedure set out below.

Following an investigation into an alleged breach, the following procedure will apply: –

  • A complaint of alleged misconduct against a Member may be made by a staff member of Early Childhood Ireland. The complaint should be made in writing to the Membership Manager who will refer it to the Senior Management team. For the purposes of this Code, in writing shall mean by letter or by email.
  • Where a complaint is made by a member of senior management team or a Board member, they will automatically be recused from any of the proceedings/ or investigation.
  • An investigator will be appointed by the Senior Management Team to investigate the matter. This person may be someone within organisation who does not have prior knowledge of the complaint or where necessary, an independent third party. For the avoidance of any doubt the person investigating will not adjudicate on the matter. Their role is to investigate and present findings to the Senior Management team.
  • The Member concerned will be contacted and advised that a has been made and that if substantiated it amounts to a breach of the code of conduct
  • A copy of the complaint will be put to the member within 14 working days of the member being notified of the complaint
  • The Member will be given adequate opportunity to respond and a written response should be submitted within 14 working days of receipt of complaint
  • Due consideration will be given to the details of the complaint and the response given by the Member.
  • A decision will be taken by in relation to withdrawal of some or all member services such as but not limited to processing of Garda vetting, access to the Early Years Employer Service (EYES), advertising on our Jobs board, certain Member Discount Deals including those in the ECI Online Shop, online access to membership only free resources such as policies and procedures, attendance at our National Annual conference or other member events and participation in the policy and implementation panel, and other member-involving policy working groups;
  • Details of the decision will be communicated to the Member by letter within 14 working days of the decision being reached
  • The Member will have the opportunity to Appeal the decision in writing to the CEO within 14 working days of receipt of the written decision
  • The decision will be reviewed by the CEO and a response in writing will issue to the Member, within 14 working days. The appeal is in relation to the decision of the senior management team and is not a re-hearing of the matter.
  • The member has the right to bring an appeal to the Board of Early Childhood Ireland which is the final arbiter and must be made within 14 working days of receipt of written response of CEO. The appeal should be made in writing to Chairperson of the Board.

The application of this Code of conduct and the withdrawal of services procedure does not infringe or violate any rights that any member has by law.