National Policy Committee 

NDNA’s National Policy Committee advises the Strategic Board on policy issues. It is made up of all members of the Strategic Board, including national and regional chairs and additional members with specific areas of expertise.

Image of Purnima Tanuku, NDNA Chief ExecutivePurnima Tanuku OBE 

Chief Executive and chair of the National Policy Committee

Purnima, in conjunction with the Board, is responsible for the strategic direction of NDNA. Purnima represents members with Government, parliamentarians and local authorities, as well as sharing the views of nurseries in the national media. Since joining NDNA, she has focused on developing the charity’s infrastructure to support and represent the membership across the UK and was instrumental in the development of NDNA’s National Early Years Enterprise Centre. Purnima has a wealth of experience at senior executive level working with public, private and charitable organisations. In 2010 Purnima was awarded OBE for services to families. 

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.

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. 

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. 


Linda Baston-Pitt

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. 

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. 

Liz Elsom

Now working as an early years consultant, Liz is a qualified early years teacher who has spent her whole career working with young children or on their behalf. She recently retired from a full-time post at Ofsted where she was responsible for early years policy. Liz worked for Ofsted for 14 years in a variety of roles including inspection of early education; monitoring and training inspectors; the transfer of early years regulation from local authorities into Ofsted; developing inspection frameworks for early years provision in the private, voluntary and independent sector and children's centres; liaison with the Department for Education; and producing guidance for inspectors and providers.

Helen Gration 

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

Christopher Gray 

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. 

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.

Ken McArthur 

Ken is owner and business manager of Polly Anna’s Nursery, York. Ken and his daughter Helen opened their nursery in 1997. Ken has a degree in business management. Polly Anna’s joined NDNA in 2000 and Ken was a founder member of the York NDNA Network and has been its chair for many years. He joined the National Policy Committee in 2011 and has supported and represented NDNA at local, regional and national events.

Hazel Moody

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.

Marg Randles OBE

Marg is a qualified and experienced teacher of children with multiple, complex needs. She was instrumental in developing the first Busy Bees Nursery in Lichfield, Staffordshire, over 30 years ago, primarily to provide high quality care for her own children. She is now the Managing Director of the nursery business with responsibility for the delivery of exceptional care performance in the 213 centres throughout the UK and she is also involved in all operational aspects of the business. Marg has strong links with government departments, local authorities and national associations

Sarah Steel

Sarah Steel founded The Old Station Nursery in 2002 when she was looking for high quality childcare for her own small children. Since then the company has grown to six sites around the UK and she joined the NDNA policy committee in 2011 to help to share the concerns and challenges of nursery operators.

Kathy Sylva OBE 

Kathy Sylva is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. She is one of the leaders of the Department for Education research on effective pre-school, primary and secondary education (EPPSE) and on the evaluations of the Graduate Leader Fund and the Early Learning Partnership Project. She was specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education in 2005-2009 and to the House of Lords Committee on Affordable Childcare in 2014-15. She was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to children and families. 

Penny Vaughan-Pipe 

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. 

Karen Veitch

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. 

Tracey Storey

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 the children can access the forest school curriculum.