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.

Emma GardnerEmma Gardner

Emma has taught in the education sector since 2002 in a range of settings from early years to further education colleges.

In 2014, she began leading an ‘Outstanding’ nursery and worked there for four years. Over the last year, Emma worked as a freelance consultant, supporting young people and the families of children with special educational needs.

She has a PGCE in further and higher education and a PGCE in Early Years with EYTS and is currently completing her final year of a masters degree in Education with an early years focus.

Fiona BlandFiona 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.

Jodey Brownsill

Jodey started her childcare career straight from school going to college to gain her NNEB Diploma and has gained over 20 years experience in the childcare sector working as a Nanny, Nursery Nurse, Room Leader and Nursery Manager in England, Ireland and Wales. She has also been fortunate to experience childcare practice in Finland and Sweden on a work-based study trip.

Prior to NDNA Jodey has also worked as a Quality Assurance Manager supporting seven nursery sites. Her professional journey has given her many opportunities to continue her CPD, including gaining a Foundation Degree in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to practice as a life coach. 

Jodey has also previously chaired the NDNA’s Swansea Network group and gained a seat on Care Inspectorate Wales' (CIW) National Advisory Board.   

Kay HeathfordKay Heaford

Kay started her childcare career almost 25 years ago, starting out as a Nursery Manager for an independent school and then as an Early Years Development Worker within a local authority.

She then became a nursery proprietor for 10 years within the private sector and then worked since as a freelance Ofsted inspector. Kay has also delivered training whilst working as an Associate for the NDNA.

Kay has achieved a BA degree in childhood studies and has completed the Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector (PTTLS).

Laura RobshawLaura Robshaw

Laura started her childcare career almost 20 years ago, starting out in a Neighbourhood Nursery, then a Quality Improvement Officer role within a local authority. She has spent time working in childcare overseas and then was the Quality Manager at NDNA from 2011 until 2017.

Since then Laura has been working as part of the management team at a large university nursery as well as continuing work with NDNA as a Millie’s Mark assessor and Quality Counts mentor. 

She has a BA hons and Post Graduate certificate in Early Childhood Studies and EYP status and completed Preparing to Teach in Lifeline Learning Services (PTTLS).

Paula DunnPaula Dunn

Starting out in the early year’s sector in 2004, Paula was involved in the establishment of Sure Start Local programmes, supporting the set-up of neighbourhood nurseries alongside developing and delivering a range of early years play and learning activities for children and families. She then progressed onto the development and support of crèche provision linked to family learning. 

Since then Paula has had a long standing role as a Local Authority Early Years Advisor. 

She has a BA hons and Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Studies and EYP status. Paula is our Math’s Champions early years adviser.

Sue AsquithSue Asquith

Sue’s experience in the early years sector began in 1998 as a registered childminder (graded Ofsted Outstanding twice). She progressed on to being a mentor, lead childminder affiliated with local children centres and an early lead language practitioner. In addition to a BA (Hons) in Early Years, she has a Level 4 Certificate in Further Education and A1 Assessor’s Award.

Sue has worked on Department for Education projects with charities such as PACEY, ICAN, Communication Trust and our NDNA Champions Programmes. She has been an associate NDNA consultant since 2012, delivering training courses and assessing Quality Counts across the UK and internationally. Sue also mentors and assesses on our Millie’s Mark Award, her book, Self-Regulation Skills in Young Children is due out in April 2020. Sue is our NDNA International early years adviser.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find out all you need to know about nurseries in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), collated from questions we get asked by our members and their parents, and updated regularly.

For safeguarding concerns, please call 01484 407070 without delay. 
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