NDNA’s Early Years Advisers 

NDNA’s Early Years Advisers all have many years of in-depth experience in early years practice, and keep abreast of new childcare developments and research, which puts them in the best position to give advice and support to our members on all kinds of childcare issues, and to promote the highest quality standards.

Members can call 01484 40 70 70 with your membership number ready for FREE support and advice from our experts.

Jo Baranek

Jo Baranek is our Lead Early Years Adviser and has been working at NDNA since 2008. Jo trained as a Primary School Teacher, with a specialism in Maths, before entering Early Years. Jo has achieved a BA Hons in Education and Mathematics (2:1).

She managed a large nursery and out of school club before moving to work for Ofsted as an Early Years Inspector. At NDNA, Jo leads on Millie's Mark, Maths Champions programme, all elements of safeguarding, and is our Designated Lead for Safeguarding across the organisation.

Angela Syson

Angela has over twenty years experience in education, training and inspection. She started her career as a Special Needs Teacher and her fascination with neuro-development led to her work in the early years sector; working in settings both nationally and internationally. Prior to working at NDNA, Angela worked as an independent Early Years Consultant, delivering teacher training, quality improvement visits and bespoke training for nurseries and school senior leadership teams.

She holds BA(Hons) Learning Difficulties, Cert(Ed), EYPS and QTLS. She is currently working towards an MA Early Childhood Education and is specialising in global education.

Fiona Bland

Fiona has over 20 years of experience (both nationally and internationally) in the early years sector, beginning her career as a key person progressing on to leadership and management roles. She has a BA (Hons) and EYP status, and has completed the Certificate to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) to support her work with adult learners. Fiona has also worked as a freelance Ofsted inspector.

Before joining NDNA in 2011 Fiona worked for the British Council in Hong Kong, developing English language programmes for Chinese children aged from 2 to 8 years and also developed teacher training programmes for early years teachers. Fiona is leading on NDNA's Quality Counts programme.

Leanne White 

Leanne has over 12 years experience of working with children aged 0- 15 years old. She is qualified to level 4 in Early Years and Management. She has undertaken many roles from youth work, residential support worker for looked after children, foster parent and out of school clubs.

She also spent eight  years working as an early years and childcare trainer delivering accredited and non – accredited courses to adults and her most recent role has been  working as an area childcare development manger running a small group of Nurseries.

Lorraine Walker

Lorraine, a previous owner of two ‘Outstanding’ nurseries comes to NDNA with over 28 years experience in Early Years.  As a manager for a Local Authority she was an award winning lead officer on Department of Education transformation projects within Children’s Services. She has written and delivered training to providers and taught childcare qualifications at an FE College.

She is also an Associate Consultant for two National Charities.  Lorraine has a First Class Hons Degree in Early Years, A Masters Diploma with Commendation in Early Years Professional Practice, a Teaching qualification and other CPD certificates in Early Years and Leadership and Management. Lorraine is the Business Adviser for our DFE supported Early Years Business Zone.

Nicola Wardropper

Nicola has worked in the early years sector for over 15 years and has EYP status. She began her career as a nursery nurse and has managed two nurseries. Nicola worked for a local authority for seven years leading a team of childcare development officers to provide support, advice and training to childcare providers. Nicola developed and carried out quality audits and has supported providers with Ofsted requirements.

Nicola was lead for safeguarding, carrying out safeguarding audits and termly briefings for managers. She has also previously been a freelance Ofsted Early Years Inspector. Nicola is the assessor for Millie’s Mark and is involved in training and product development.