NDNA Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the good governance of the charity and ensuring that NDNA works to fulfill 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 OBESarah Carr OBE

Sarah has chaired the Board since 2001 and has been in early years for the past three decades, founding a group of large nurseries in the North West and now directing an independent primary school and four 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 PoulsonDave 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 McEwanAnn 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

Tine Jones

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. 

Regional Chairs

Christopher GrayChristopher 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 GrationHelen Gration

Regional Chair for Yorkshire and the Humber 

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

Laura BoweryLaura Bowery

Regional Chair for the North East

Laura has been involved in the education sector for nearly 20 years, moving from secondary school teaching, to being a joint owner and director of her own private day nursery. 

Penny Vaughan-Pipe 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 HutchisonTracy Hutchison

Regional Chair for East of England

Tracy set up and still runs Beach Babies, nurseries where children spend hours outside and go home happy, educated and often very dirty. Her passions include running and her dogs who have replaced her children now they have grown and flown. She also enjoys cooking but mainly because she likes the finished products!

Tracey StoreyTracey Storey

Regional Chair for London

As the CEO of a large group of nurseries in London and the South East, Tracey aspires to provide outstanding childcare for all children and families.  Tracey is committed to also providing the very best environment and benefits for her staff team including an extensive training and development programme.  Tracey has a passion for the outdoors and is hugely committed to ensuring all their children can access a forest school curriculum.    

Philip SiddellPhilip Siddell

Regional chair for West Midlands

 Passionate about defending the right of private day nurseries to run their own businesses in a sustainable and profitable way, Philip is keen to share successful pricing policies operating within Government Guidelines, yet using the possibilities of the legislation to the full, including what is left unsaid! He is co-owner of Humpty Dumpty Day Nurseries Ltd, founded by his wife Carol in 1987 and comprising 4 Nurseries and 7 Before and After School Clubs in the West Midlands.

Sally BonnarSally Bonnar

Regional Chair for East Midlands

Sally is a passionate advocate of the importance of early years education and as the Chief Operating Officer of the large provider, Coop Childcare and Little Pioneers she always has the children and families at the heart of her decision making. Sally has an ambition to be a different type of community based provider, that is truly a member empowered service with a big difference. Sally’s dedication to making a difference embodies the NDNA’s ethos of being the people behind the people who care and champion the best for our children. 

Co-opted Trustees

Courteney DonaldsonCourteney 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 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.

Jayne Haywood MBEJane Haywood MBE

Jane has significant leadership experience in the public and voluntary sector. She has substantial expertise in workforce development, including in the early years and social care, safeguarding and governance. Jane is an active volunteer and has a particular interest in youth work, play and learning disability. She is proud of the role NDNA plays in being the voice of the early year's sector and her role on the NDNA board allows her to continue her commitment to ensuring that the early years workforce receives the recognition, reward and support it deserves. 

Lesley DawsonLesley Dawson 

Lesley has served with the NDNA board for 20+ years.  She operates a family group of nurseries and out of school clubs in Leeds though is a keen advocate for single site nurseries.  She is passionate about early years excellence and education.  Lesley’s family also have a children’s education charity in Malawi.  

Linda Baston-Pitt

Linda is a passionate advocate for health and well-being in the early years. She is currently an active representative on a number of national committees, including a working member of The UK Government All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, member on the CACHE TEB board and chair of the Ofsted Eastern Region Steering Group. She is founder of the award winning Old School House Nursery and is CEO of PurpleBee Learning and co-founder of the PANCo qualification.