NDNA’s Board of Trustees 

NDNA’s Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the good governance of the charity and ensuring that NDNA works to fulfil its mission of promoting quality in early years. The Board is comprised of 11 member-elected regional and national chairs and a number of co-opted trustees with specific expertise. 

Regional and national chairs chair member forums, represent on NDNA policy committees and inform and advise our policy work. Here, we introduce you to the NDNA Strategic Board.

Chair of Trustees

Sarah Carr OBE

Sarah has chaired the Board since 2001 and has been in early years for the past two decades, founding a group of large nurseries in the North West and now directing an independent primary school and two day nurseries. Sarah’s focus is on ensuring NDNA has the capacity, expertise and profile to grow its membership reach, to be a national focus for early years excellence and to be a dynamic, high-performing and sustainable organisation.


Dave Poulsom

Dave is a Chartered Accountant who has held a number of senior financial leadership roles in both the private and public sector. Dave is an active trustee and governor for three local disadvantaged children and young people focused charities and special schools. In 2006 Dave was Director of Finance Children’s Workforce Development Council and in 2012 joined the Department for Education acting as senior Finance Business Partner for the Department’s delivery agencies and the Education Funding Agency schools Capital Programme.

Scotland Chair

Ann McEwan

Ann is a Director of a company owning three nurseries and has been an NDNA member for over 20 years,  she also formed NDNA's Dumfries and Galloway and Allerdale and Copeland networks. Ann is committed to the ethos and aims of NDNA and will listen to, and take forward, Scottish members involvement.

Wales Chair

Tina Jones MBE

Tina has been managing director of her own nursery for many years and has supported the growth of NDNA Cymru to develop strong relationships with the Welsh Government and CSSIW. Tina supports NDNA Cymru in representing the views of members at various meetings.

Regional Chairs

Christopher Gray

Regional Chair for the North West

Christopher believes a strong voice for day nurseries is essential as the Government moves the childcare agenda forward and he represents on a range of groups, including an NDNA network and the managing committee of a children’s centre.

Hazel Moody

Regional Chair for the South East

Hazel believes strongly that all members share common problems and issues as they work to deliver the best care for young children, and she is keen to share her knowledge and experience in this area.

Helen Gration

Regional Chair for Yorkshire and the Humber 

Helen is a passionate and committed owner of two thriving Montessori nurseries in York. Her desire for excellence in childcare is a powerful motivator. 

Karen Veitch

Regional Chair for the North East

As owner of Emerald Nurseries and Children’s Centres, Karen works with the local NDNA network and sits on various groups to work to improve policy implementation and practice.

Linda Baston-Pitt

Regional Chair for the East

Linda is co-founder of the Old School House Day Nursery, a 120 place day nursery and nursery school and TLC Academy and is committed to sharing good practice. She is involved in a range of committees and groups, including a local NDNA network.

Penny Vaughan-Pipe 

Regional Chair for the South West

Penny is active within national and local organisations and plays an active role in her local Chamber. She also represents NDNA members at local partnership meetings. 

Tracey Storey

Regional Chair for London

As the CEO of a group of nurseries in London and the owner of a Forest School Nursery, Tracey aspires to provide outstanding childcare for all their children.  Tracey has a passion for the outdoors and is hugely committed to ensuring all their children can access the forest school curriculum.

Co-opted Trustees

Courteney Donaldson

As Director of Corporate Childcare Sectors at Christie & Co, Courteney has a vast range of expertise in the childcare sector and understanding of current trends. Courteney has specialised in the nursery sector since 1999, providing nursery valuation, transactional and consultative advice.

David Smyllie 

David qualified as a practicing solicitor in 1985. After several years as a partner in one of the national law firms, he joined Lupton Fawcett LLP, Solicitors, Leeds in July 2006 as a Director and Member. He is Head of the firm’s Business Recovery & Insolvency Department. David has, for many years, been widely recognised as a leading business recovery and insolvency lawyer with particular focus on advising financially distressed companies and directors and trustees of charities on their duties and responsibilities when faced with financial under performance, distress or insolvency.

Jane Haywood MBE

Jane has recently stepped down as the chief executive of the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Jane has substantial experience in the children and young people’s field with a particular interest in learning disability, volunteering, play and youth work. She is also chair of the national young people’s charity Endeavour. Jane knows NDNA is a strong voice for the early years sector. On the NDNA board Jane continues her interest in early years and ensures the early years workforce receives the recognition and support it deserves.