Grovelands Childcare is a family run business celebrating 25 years in operation this year. Regina Bushell established Grovelands Childcare in Athlone in 1992. Since then it has grown from Regina with one staff member and a group of 20 children to her now employing 80 staff and catering for over 600 families on a weekly basis. Over the last ten years Regina has been joined in the business by husband Ronan who is the Financial Director and daughter Deirdre who has come on board as marketing and administration manager.


Regina Bushell, MD of Grovelands Childcare has been deeply involved in childcare for 35 years and is passionate about enabling children to reach their full potential.

After working in her mother’s Naíonra for two years, Regina began running a playgroup from her own home. Since then, along with her husband Ronan, she has gone on to develop the multi-award winning Grovelands Childcare which consists of four beautiful, purpose-built facilities and employs 87 childcare professionals.

Grovelands Childcare’s founder Regina Bushell has many qualifications in childcare, child psychology and early education. Regina was a founding member of the Westmeath County Childcare Committee. She was actively involved in National Children’s Nursery Association which is now Early Childhood Ireland. She is an active member of Start Strong and is regularly campaigning for investment in childcare, supports for working parents and for the rights of children particularly in the area of supporting children with greater needs and additional needs in main-stream childcare.

Regina has been described as “unique in her field in childcare” for the standards she strives for both in Grovelands Childcare and through her voluntary work and commitment at national level. She is committed to ensuring that children in early preschool education are cared for in ideal settings at all times.

Grovelands Childcare was the outright winner in the Westmeath County Enterprise Board Business awards in 2004, going on to represent the county in the All Ireland competition – a first for a childcare provider in Ireland. Following the rigorous validation process of ECI, Grovelands Childcare was awarded the “Centre of Excellence Award” for its three centres in Athlone and Tullamore in 2005. The Mullingar centre opened in 2006 followed by Corran Riada in 2008. By 2008 this award had achieved All-Ireland recognition and Grovelands Childcare was successful in its five centres – a unique achievement for all sites operated by a childcare provider. Such commitment to standards of excellence operates in all Grovelands Childcare facilities.

“Quality childcare and early education are both critically important in helping children to develop into well balanced, content and confident little people. I personally campaigned for many years, meeting numerous ministers for children, to have an initiative such as the ECCE scheme put in place. It is fantastic that every child in the state can now enjoy a year of pre-school education and socialisation at no cost whatsoever to parents.”

Ronan Bushell is Finance Director. Having previously worked as taxation consult in Russell Brennan Keane Ronan left to join the business in 2006 while Regina went through an illness. Ronan manages all financial aspects of the business. He is also actively involved with Early Childhood Ireland and Start Strong and like Regina lobbies for further investment in the sector.

Deirdre Bushell previously held the role of centre manager leaving in 2007 to travel and continue her studies. Deirdre has taken on the role of Marketing and Administration Manager since returning to the company in 2012. Deirdre drives the positive promotion of the business via marketing and PR, both traditional and online. She is also involved in the day to day running of all of the centres.

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