Key people

Senior PACEY staff

Chief Executive – Helen Donohoe

Helen Donohoe leads PACEY, championing the vital role practitioners play in helping children prepare for a bright future and working to ensure everyone in childcare and early years can provide high quality care and early education.

Helen joined PACEY as Policy Advisor in 2019, taking the role of Chief Executive in December 2022. She has almost 30 years of experience across policy development, campaigning, and senior leadership, including time as the Director for Public Policy at Action for Children and as a Parent Governor of Islington North Nursery. She is passionate about early intervention and ensuring every child gets the best start in life.

Working with PACEY staff, volunteers and members, she ensures PACEY provides information, advice and support to childminders, nurseries; pre-schools and nannies as well as families and others involved in childcare and early years; enables members to share their ideas and experiences with each other and represents and advocates on their behalf. Helen represents PACEY at the Department for Education’s Early Years Strategic Forum; Ofsted’s Early Years Consultative Forum and shares PACEY members’ views and experiences on other coalitions, at conferences and parliamentary forums, as well as to the media.

Head of Data & Technology – Amy Wood

Amy’s job is to lead on all PACEY’s technology and data systems, ensuring our website, member portal as well as our online training are accessible to members and other beneficiaries 24/7. She also leads PACEY data strategy, ensuring we meet all GDPR requirements and supporting us to use the data we have to inform and improve our work as well as grow our engagement with members and other stakeholders. Before joining PACEY, Amy was the Director of her own business working on implementing, managing and operating data systems and integrations across a variety of organisations in multiple business sectors worldwide. She has a passion for technology, and a natural aptitude for problem solving and identifying effective solutions.

Head of Contracts & Projects – Claire Protheroe

Claire’s job is to lead all of PACEY Cymru’s work in Wales with Welsh Government and other key stakeholders as well as managing PACEY’s wider work with local authorities (LAs) in England and Wales. This includes managing contracts to deliver services and any grant funded projects PACEY run alongside maintaining relationships with childcare and early years leaders in local authorities in both nations. Claire has held a number of roles since joining PACEY in 2009 and before this Claire was a registered childminder for a number of years.

Head of Membership & Marketing – Ka Lai Brightley-Hodges 

Ka Lai’s job is to lead on ensuring all our members make the most of the great benefits that PACEY offers and to encourage more childminders, nannies, nurseries, and pre-schools to join PACEY. Alongside this, Ka Lai ensures PACEY’s communication channels and key partners promote PACEY’s brand and its work. She also leads on the sale of products and services in PACEY’s shop. Before joining PACEY, Ka Lai was Senior Loyalty Manager at the Royal Academy of Arts where she worked on a range of activities that supported the recruitment and retention of their 97,000 members.  

Head of Finance & Support – Victoria Epps-Wood 

Victoria’s job is to lead on PACEY’s financial and people strategies. She ensures that PACEY’s plans are sustainable and that the funds the charity receives are managed properly. Victoria also ensures PACEY has the systems, processes, and advice it needs to support everyone working at PACEY. As part of this, the role is responsible for several compliance areas including company and charity law, employment law (including health and safety). Before joining PACEY, Victoria was Bursar, Head of Finance and Clerk to the Governors of Bethany School in Kent. There, alongside finance, Victoria was responsible for facilities, compliance, governance, and procurement. 

PACEY benefits from the advice and support of a wide range of people alongside its staff team.

PACEY Board

Our volunteer Trustees are ultimately responsible for PACEY’s work and resources. Meet the Board of Trustees.

Our President 

Penny Tassoni is currently our President and supports our work by offering advice, acting as a spokesperson and much moreFind out more about Penny Tassoni.

PACEY Associates

Our freelance trainers and practitioners who help us deliver our CPD, keep our practice advice up to date and provide telephone and face-to-face support to our members.