Anne O'Connor taught in early years settings in London primary schools for more than 20 years before becoming an independent consultant, trainer and writer. She contributes regularly to Nursery World and is an Associate of Early Education. She co-founded and is a principal consultant with Primed for Life Training Associates, providing innovative training for Physical Development and the Prime areas of the EYFS.
Helen Moylett is an independent early years consultant and writer. She has been headteacher of an early years centre and worked in schools as a university lecturer. At National Strategies, she was involved in developing the EYFS and was national lead for Every Child a Talker. She co-authored Development Matters and Understanding the Revised EYFS. Helen is president of Early Education.
Jane Harrison is director of Red Hen day nursery. She has a passion for educating young children and parents about good food, and was winner of the Nursery Word Food Award 2009, and finalist in the BBC Food and Farming Awards Caterer category 2012. Jane's nursery is recognised for its outstanding practice on a working farm and was Nursery World's Nursery of the Year in 2013.
David Wright moved into the early years in 2004 after a 25-year career in IT, and is an Early Years Professional. He and his wife Anna are joint owners of Paint Pots Nurseries, which operates seven settings in the Southampton area. The nursery group motto is 'Love, laughter and learning'. David is an advocate for men in early years and works to influence public opinion in this area.
Jan Dubiel is the national development manager at Early Excellence, and works as part of the team to support early years practitioners and settings in all aspects of practice and provision. He led on the management of the EYFS Profile, and was given national responsibility for its implementation and moderation, developing guidance and support materials and working at a strategic level.
Jo Vickers has been manager at Weavers Fields Community Nursery since 2006, and has had several roles within the organisation over the past 23 years. She has Early Years Professional Status and a BA Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies. Jo is particularly interested in the emotional well-being of children, and in developing and supporting the staff team in their professional development.
Diana Hawdon is a dietitian and registered public health nutritionist, as well as a qualified chef, with many years experience in public health, policy-making and education settings. Diana has research interests in weaning practices in multi-ethnic communities and oral health issues among pre-school children. She is working with The Soil Association as early years project manager for the Food For Life Partnership.
Jane Blant works as a teaching assistant at Alfreton Nursery School in Derbyshire. Jane, who has worked in a variety of early years settings, is a passionate supporter of promoting best practice in early years care and education. She has written several articles for Nursery World and this year completed her degree in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Derby.
Julia Manning-Morton is an independent consultant for 'Key Times Professional Development'. Her career in the early childhood field spans 40 years in diverse roles in early years settings and also as a lecturer in Early Childhood Studies. Julia's research and writing is focused on children from birth to three-years-old and on the personal, social and emotional well-being of children and practitioners.
Gail Ryder-Richardson holds a masters in Early Childhood Education and has worked in the early years sector for more than 30 years. She currently focuses on promoting the value and use of outdoor environments. Her understanding of the issues practitioners face in improving their outdoor practice is combined with a practical and creative approach to overcoming problems.
Jane Comeau has been a registered childminder since 1995 and was awarded outstanding in all areas at her past two inspections. A volunteer with the National Childminding Association for many years, she joined its board as a trustee in 2011 and is now vice-chair of the organisation, now the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY). She gained Early Years Professional Status in 2011.
Julian Grenier is the headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children's Centre and is chair of the trustees at Early Education. He was awarded a doctorate in education in 2013 by the Institute of Education. He worked as an early years advisor for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and was head teacher of Kate Greenaway Nursery School and Children's Centre in London.
Kathy Brodie is an early years trainer. She achieved Early Years Professional Status in 2007 and now coaches and mentors practitioners with the status. Kathy also lectures on degree courses at Stockport College. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Sheffield. Her book, Observation, Assessment and Planning, was published by Open University Press last year.
Michael Freeston is director of quality improvement at the Pre-school Learning Alliance. He is also a trustee and board member of CACHE (the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education) and chairs their Scrutiny Panel, and was a member of the Expert Group involved in the Professor Cathy Nutbrown's review of early years qualifications and workforce.
Sarah Steel founded The Old Station Nursery in 2002, after a search for high quality local childcare left her thinking that there was a gap in the market. It has been a challenging 13 years since then, but has undoubtedly been a success story. The company now runs six settings across the UK and Sarah is involved in the early years sector in India and the Middle East.
Laura Henry is a leading, awarding winning expert in early years education, both in the UK and internationally, working in Dubai, Romania, Gibraltar and the US. She is a highly regarded and popular trainer, consultant and author. Laura is UK representative for the World Forum in Early Care and Education, and is a regular contributor to Nursery World.
Nicole Weinstein is a freelance journalist specialising in early education, childcare and under-threes development. She spent five years writing news and features in-house for Nursery World and continues to be a regular freelance contributor. She has extensive links throughout the childcare sector. Since becoming a mum she is even more passionate about what's on offer for children in the early years.
Sue Robb joined the charity 4Children as head of early years in May 2011 with the specific brief to lead the development of the Department for Education's new early years strategic programme, Foundations for the Future. She has worked as an Ofsted inspector and is recognised nationally for her work on early years quality improvement. She has also worked at schools and local authorities.
Linda Keats is a workforce development consultant with Essex County Council, supporting the early years workforce and, in particular, Early Years Professionals/Early Years Teachers. She started her career in early years in Australia more than 20 years ago and has worked in occasional, sessional and full day-care in a number of roles including nursery manager in both Australia and the UK.
Penny Tassoni is an education consultant, author and trainer. She previously worked as an early years and primary teacher before lecturing on childhood studies. Penny has also worked as the UK education and training manager of a large nursery chain. She has written more than 30 books, including the best-selling Practical EYFS handbook. Penny is also President of early years organisation PACEY.
Wendy Scott received the Nursery World Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. She is a Froebel-trained teacher and was head of a demonstration nursery school. Wendy is president of TACTYC and served on the Nutbrown Review. She was chief executive of the British Association for Early Childhood Education and chair of the Early Childhood Forum. She has worked with the DfES, the British Council and UNICEF.
Mary Dickins is a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University, an author and an independent consultant on equality and inclusion of young children. She originally trained as a primary school teacher and has worked with practitioners, young children and families for 35 years. She also has extensive experience as a trainer of practitioners at all levels of expertise and on a wide range of issues.
Purnima Tanuku is chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association and works closely with ministers and civil servants to represent the early years sector. She has been instrumental in establishing the national Early Years Enterprise Centre. Purnima's career spans public, private and voluntary sectors. She has been awarded an Order of the British Empire.