Advisory Group

Our voluntary Advisory Group is made up of individuals with a wide range of interests and expertise. They have one thing in common – they all care about quality childcare and early education. Our Advisors provide support in many ways including advising us on our policy and service development. All Advisory Group members are volunteers.


Carole Edmond

Managing Director for The Regard Group, the 3rd largest specialist care provider. Carole was previously Managing Director for Bright Horizons, the UK’s second largest childcare provider and largest provider of work/life services. Carole is also an advisor for an international investor in early years and is Founder of Glass Moon Strategies Ltd, which supports career parents and women in leadership.

Christine Emery

An outstanding registered childminder, Christine has run her business since 1990. She is also a PACEY Champion in her local community in Nottinghamshire.

Dr Jacqueline Harding

Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University and founder of the Bright Start Institute of Maternal and Child Health. Jacqueline, an author, also runs Tomorrow’s Child, a children’s research and film production company. She was previously a BBC education editor, government consultant and head teacher.

Julie Hyde

Julie is Associate Director of the qualifications awarding body CACHE, part of NCFE. In this role Julie supports the childcare and early years sector to improve the skills and professional standards of the early years workforce.

Dr. Eunice Lumsden

Head of Early Years at the University of Northampton and Clinical Trustee at the Northampton Infant and Parent Partnership charity, Eunice has also been a registered social worker for over 20 years and has contributed to a number of research projects. She has special interest in early years professional development, child maltreatment, adoption and poverty.

Sue Meekings

Director of Kiddicaru Nurseries, a chain of nurseries in Central and Southern England, some providing childcare in areas of deprivation. Sue is also currently a PACEY Trustee and has just completed her Masters Degree in Early Education and Training. She is now studying towards a Professional Doctorate in Education with a specialism in early years education

John Oates

Senior Lecturer in the Child and Youth Studies Group at the Open University UK. John is the lead for the Open University’s child development teaching and has published research on developmental psychology and research ethics frameworks. 

Ruth Pimentel

Ruth is Interim Director of Nurseries at Action for Children. Previously, Ruth was Chief Executive Officer of Toad Hall Nursery Group. She is a teacher by background and has worked in a wide range of nurseries, schools, local authorities and Ofsted.

Debbie Southern

Debbie is a registered childminder who has run her business since 1993. Debbie is also a PACEY Champion in her local community in Swindon and is one of her local authority’s advisors supporting them on a wide range of early years matters including funded early education and provider training.

Ben Tawil

Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork at Leeds Beckett University. Ben is also Joint Director of his own company Ludicology which provides advice, research and training on children’s play. He has worked in early years setting, in adventure play and was previously National Play Development Officer for Play Wales.

Tricia Wellings 

Director of Bright Kids, a childcare service providing nursery, out of school and holiday childcare West Midlands families with children aged 6 weeks to 12 years since 1999. Tricia, who is an Early Years Teacher, also runs her own early years training company.

Jacqueline White

Jacqueline is a registered childminder who has run her business since 1999. Jacqueline is also a PACEY Champion in her local South Tyneside community and has worked with her local authority to support other local childminders.