Every now and then we will feature one of our TACTYC members who will give you information about themselves and why they are members of TACTYC. If you would like to contribute your own profile, then please get in touch with, sending brief information and a photograph.

EDITORIAL BOARD:  You can also read the profiles of the members of our excellent Early Years journal Editorial Board, which has members from all over the world.

We regularly have new profiles so do keep looking – and don’t forget that we’d also like to receive yours to add to the website: it only takes a minute to put something together and e-mail it to  So why not do it NOW?!

We hope you will enjoy reading about other people who are involved in different ways as members of TACTYC.

Helen Bilton | Nancy Stewart | Sharon Curtis | Gareth Betts-Davies | Gina Houston | Rosa Collins | Lynn Boyle | Rosie Flewitt | Jane Murray | Margaret Simms |Jackie Musgrave | Lynn Boyle | Rosie Flewitt | Jane Murray | Margaret Simms | Trisha Maynard | Estelle Martin | Pat Beckley | Wendy Scott | Anita Soni | Janet Moyles | Pat Broadhead | Maulfry Worthington | Jane Payler | Avril Brock | Sacha Powell | Rory McDowall Clark | Richard House | Carolyn Blackburn 

IMG_8252 edit

I’m Helen Bilton and I’m an Associate Professor at the University of Reading. I trained as a nursery teacher and my first lecture was on the nursery garden – this has been my passion ever since. I research and write on the early years outdoor teaching and learning environment. My first book, Outdoor Learning in the early years: Management and innovation, is now in its 3rd edition and my most recent book, Taking the first steps outside. Under threes learning and developing in their natural environment, is a collaboration with colleagues in Portugal. An important part of my approach to teaching is to challenge teachers to develop their practice and I run continuing professional development on a range of topics. My present area of research interest is the oral language development of young children in the outdoor environment and staff attitudes and values to the outdoors.



I’m Nancy Stewart, and I’m an independent consultant and writer. In 2007 I was co-opted to TACTYC’s Executive Committee as a local authority representative, and have stayed busy with TACTYC ever since – currently as Vice Chair, and with responsibility for communications and consultation.

I moved from the USA to the UK with my husband and young son 38 years ago. At that point I had experience in health education, had completed my teacher training, Master’s degree and school teaching experience. In following years our family grew by three more children, while my career followed a winding path that kept children and families at the centre. I established a sessional nursery in our home, taught pregnancy couples classes, and wrote for national magazines – including an ‘agony mum’ column – and a book about babies and toddlers. After finding my way back into schools I led early years and was Assistant and Deputy Head in a large primary school, teaching in reception and nursery. Moving into local authority advisory work, I supported schools, settings and childminders with quality improvement, developed and delivered training, led implementation of the new EYFS, moderated EYFS Profile in schools, and was the education lead in a new children’s centre. I also got involved as lecturer and assessor for Early Years Professional Status through Manchester Metropolitan and Edge Hill Universities.

As Senior Adviser with National Strategies, I had a lead role in Every Child a Talker, and in developing national materials. I was one of a team of four who provided expert advice to the Tickell review of the Early Years Foundation Stage, and through my interest in children’s development as self-regulating learners I urged bringing the characteristics of effective learning into the statutory framework. I have been an independent consultant since 2012, delivering CPD all around the country, acting as consultant with the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), and writing a number of books including How Children Learn: The Characteristics of Effective Early Learning (Early Education 2012). I co-produced Development Matters in the EYFS with Helen Moylett, and am an Associate with Early Education. I am always keen to learn more about communication and language, self-regulation, and the role of the adult in playful teaching and learning.

sharon CurtisI am Dr. Sharon Curtis and I’m currently the Head of Centre at Ellesmere Children’s Centre, an Ofsted designated outstanding early years provision in Sheffield. Voted in the Sheffield Educational Award as ‘Best Nursery’ in 2015. The Centre has also been honoured with the Duke of York Award in 2008 and reaccredited in 2013. I have travelled to China to look at educational leadership and alternative medicines and was also a panel representative on the Nutbrown review in 2014. I have been deeply-rooted in early years development for over 20 years and have been a member of several boards including National Early Years Equality, Sheffield Children’s Information Services and Consortium for Children and Families. I was thrilled to be short-listed for the First Women Award 2016 a networking event that brings together outstanding and inspirational women hosted in London.

I have experiences that incorporate health, education and couple counselling at Relate Sheffield. Possessing a proven eclectic approach to counselling that also includes shorter courses in family and play therapy. I do feel that these experiences support leaders to effectively understand the inequalities that can impact on family life. As a counsellor I have developed a natural style in my delivery of services communicating effectively using a transcultural approach with children and families. I have worked in a number of third sector organisations and understand how the infrastructures and the politics surrounding families can be quite complex.

My work has been visionary, challenge driven, diverse and successful; in a number of arenas including regeneration. I am a passionate educator devoted to providing a widely resourced multi diverse early learning environment for young children and students. I enjoy the benefits of partnerships and networking both nationally and internationally. My management experience includes a high commitment to quality development and infrastructure. I am recognised amongst colleagues for a keen ability to energise and inspire individuals to work towards achieving a common goal. My role includes working as an advisor at board level supporting SME in various business sectors, focused on high calibre nursery education.

I have recently completed my doctoral research (awarded 2015, Leeds Beckett University) which examined Black Women Leaders’ experiences within the early years sector and intersectional complexities. I also clearly understand that safe spaces for those to share their differences, extending these opportunities to have their voices heard, alongside their experiences are crucial. In particular for those who remain isolated in their sectors. I have presented my work at the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES 2013) and the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS 2015). My personal interest is therapeutic care for children and the promotion of diversity and difference that includes the importance of transcultural care.

Gareth Betts-Davies

My name is Gareth Betts-Davies and I am a father of two teenage boys, both of whom I was lucky enough to teach during their nursery year. I am currently an Early Years Advisor working for Suffolk County Council.

I began my Early Years career as a childminder following the birth of my eldest, began studying under Nigel Hall (‘Emergence of Literacy’ 1987) and Professor Lesley Abbott (‘Birth to Three Matters’ 2005) before taking up my nursery teacher post in 1999. I then had the privilege of studying for my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care at Pen Green Research, Training and Leadership Base which I completed in 2004. In the same year, I joined the National Union of Teachers’ EYFS Advisory Committee and am currently their Vice –Chair. After ten years teaching in the EYFS, I began working as the qualified teacher in a children’s centre, a role which lasted only 18 months before the last coalition government removed the statutory duty on local authorities and the position was scrapped. I regretted this greatly as I felt it was a powerful and impactful role working to support and empower linked day-care, Children Centre’s staff and families more directly than any other position I’ve had. Since 2011, I have been working within the county’s Early Years Service, supporting practitioners and organisations in their work with the youngest and most vulnerable children.

I joined the Executive Board of TACTYC through invitation to represent local authority colleagues’ perspectives within the organisations aim to ‘promote and advocate the highest quality professional development for all early years educators in order to enhance the educational well-being of the youngest children.’ In my role, I work to support early years practitioners, including teachers in EYFS classrooms. I recognise the difficulty they face in delivering the high quality provision we know is possible, given the training and preparation they’ve had, and the subsequent professional development opportunities available. Luckily, in my experience, most are passionate about their role and keen and able to continue on their own pedagogical learning journey.

Gina HoustonMy name is Gina Houston and I am now retired from many years of working in the early years sector. My career began in 1968 teaching in nursery classes and as the headteacher of a nursery school. During this time I was seconded for a year to Froebel Institute to teach on a course for teachers who wished to retrain in early years education. This gave me an interest in teaching adults leading to training early years practitioners in further education colleges and becoming course manager until joining a local authority as the Early Years advisor. I left to be involved in the Sure Start initiative and had the opportunity to establish and manage a local Sure Start programme until my retirement. However, I could not keep away from the early years sector and began supporting schools and nurseries as a consultant.

My work with young children in an urban environment gave me an interest in issues of race and racism and how these impacted on their education and development. This resulted in me studying for a Diploma in Multicultural Education at Goldsmith’s College during which I was seconded to teach for a year in a rural Jamaican primary school. On my return I studied further for an MA in urban education and have recently completed a Ph.D. researching black children’s experiences in reception classes, which I am currently writing up for publication as a book to support practitioners in their work and studies.

For over twenty years I was on the executive of Early Years Equality, a voluntary organisation that supported practitioners to implement an anti-racist curriculum and environment in their early years settings. During this time I wrote publications, provided training and advice, and lobbied for anti-discriminatory legislation, curriculum and practice in the early years sector.

I have been a member of TACTYC since the 1980s, finding the journal extremely informative and useful both personally and professionally. Other TACTYC members have always been available for information and support, keeping me up-to-date over the years on all political and academic issues regarding early years education and training. I am now fortunate to have been co-opted on the executive board for the period 2016-2017 and look forward to contributing further to this excellent organisation.

Rosa CollinsRosa Collins is a very proud mother of two daughters with a passion for the importance of early years and the well-being of all children which I think comes from my Spanish cultural experience!

I have worked in the early years field for over 11 years, holding various roles in the public and private sectors from childminder and Network Co-ordinator to Quality Improvement Manager for a local authority. I studied with University of Leicester through Pen Green Research, Training and Leadership Base to gain a Masters Degree in Integrated Provision for Children and Families in 2011.

While studying for the MA, I discovered TACTYC through the Early Years Journal. As an early years trainer I found I had a lot in common with the aims of TACTYC and I was so pleased when I was co-opted to the Executive. A few years later and I am now an elected member of the Exec which is a great honour..

I am currently working as a Consultant but still have time to support the valuable work of TACTYC and the conference committee.

ProfileMy name is Carolyn Blackburn and I am currently a member of the Early Childhood Research Group at Birmingham City University where I am also a visiting lecturer on the Early Education Studies degree course.

My career in early childcare and education began when I had my own children 17 years ago. Initially I was a volunteer on PTAs before accepting a job as inclusion support worker helping children with EAL and additional needs.  I very quickly identified that I was happiest working with the youngest children and those who needed extra help, so I decided to train to work in early years and soon found myself managing a community-run pre-school.  Following this I worked for the Pre-School Alliance as a family support worker and development worker for children aged birth to three.  Eventually I found my way into research, working with parents and other early years practitioners as co-researchers to raise awareness of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, before commencing my PhD which has investigated the diverse communication needs of young children in the foundation stage.

I joined TACTYC in 2011 and presented the initial findings of my doctoral work at their conference in York that year where the keynote speaker was Usha Goswami.  I was so pleasantly surprised to find how friendly and collegial the atmosphere was.

Richard House photographRichard House is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies (Early Childhood) at the University of Winchester, and formerly lectured in psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton (2005–12). A trained Steiner Kindergarten and class teacher and an education campaigner since the 1990s, his books on education include Too Much, Too Soon? – Early Learning and the Erosion of Childhood (editor, Hawthorn Press, 2011) and Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos (Karnac, 2009; co-ed. Del Loewenthal). Richard is a founder-member of the Open EYE Campaign, of Early Childhood Action, and of the Save Childhood Movement.

He contributes regularly to a range of professional education publications and to the peer-reviewed and professional psychotherapy literature. Richard organised the Daily Telegraph Open Letters on the state of modern childhood in 2006, 2007 (both with Sue Palmer) and in 2011.

Particular current interests include: early development and learning; the ‘audit culture’ and ‘toxic childhood’; the psychodynamics of learning and teaching; play and pedagogy; and post-structuralist/postmodern approaches to learning and research.

Wearing his other professional hat, Richard is co-Editor of the journal Self and Society: International Journal for Humanistic Psychology, Associate Editor of Psychotherapy and Politics International, and Theory Editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling. His books on psychotherapy include In, Against and Beyond Therapy (PCCS, 2010) and Therapy Beyond Modernity (Karnac, 2003), and Critically Engaging CBT (Open University Press, 2010, co-ed. Del Loewenthal). Richard is a founder-member of the Independent Practitioners Network and of the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy. As a new member of TACTYC, Richard is hoping to support its work and benefit from involvement.

Rory McDowall Clark photographMy name is Rory McDowall-Clark.I have been a TACTYC member for twenty years and a member of the executive since 2012. I was delighted to be elected and feel privileged to be fully involved in TACTYC’s work.

For eighteen years I was a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Early Childhood at the University of Worcester, involved in establishing undergraduate and postgraduate provision. When Early Years Professional Status was introduced I took on responsibility for that and particularly enjoyed working with inspiring practitioners who do so much to lead practice and improve outcomes for young children within their settings. After retiring from teaching, I remained involved with Early Years Teachers, continuing to undertake assessments as an opportunity to visit different settings and keep in touch with practitioners in the field. An important aspect has been collaborative research with EYPs around what it means to lead practice, culminating in a book Reconceptualising Leadership in the Early Years (Open University Press) with Janet Murray and forming the basis of my doctoral research.

No longer teaching gives me more opportunity to write, something I have always enjoyed. My first book, Childhood in Society (Sage) now in its third edition, reflects my other main academic interest in how societies construct varying understandings of childhood. The discourses that underpin these emerge in policy and legislation as well as the popular media and so have very real effects for young children’s lives. Of particular concern is the current concept of young children as ‘school-pupils-in-waiting’ making advocacy for our youngest citizens more important than ever. For this reason I was pleased to be asked to write the first book in a new series edited by TACTYC: Exploring the Contexts for Early Learning: challenging the school readiness agenda – published by Routledge in October 2016.

Sacha Powell photographMy name is Sacha Powell. I’m Professor in Early Childhood in the Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities at Canterbury Christ Church University. I’m also Leader of the Faculty of Education’s Children, Families and Communities Research Theme. I took over the Chair of TACTYC in November 2015.

I usually work on commissioned/funded research projects and have the good fortune to collaborate with people from many professions and disciplines. I supervise doctoral students and co-direct the new Early Years Doctorate in Education. Since 2009 my research has focused on the processes and practices of daycare for babies in a project called, ‘The Baby Room’. This includes organising an annual conference where people come together to network, hear from speakers and discuss the very particular ECEC needs of babies. I also coordinate an online network for baby room practitioners. With increasing political focus on two-year-olds, I’m currently working (with Kathy Goouch) with three local authorities using case study research to enhance knowledge and understanding of ECEC for this age group.

This runs alongside a sustained interest in early childhood in China and collaboration with Chinese colleagues to learn from their research and practice and share my own experiences and research findings. My Ph.D. (University of Kent, 2002) was about ‘Constructions of Early Childhood in China’. My first degree was in Modern Chinese with Japanese and I’ve worked with kindergarten children in Beijing and then Taipei as a tutor of English as a foreign language.

I’m a Trustee of Kent Children and Families Network (charity), a member of the Froebel Trust Research Committee and Convenor of Parents in Education Research Network (PERN). I was co-opted onto the TACTYC Exec in 2013 – a great privilege and delight!

Jackie MusgraveMy name is Jackie Musgrave and I am a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Early Childhood at the University of Worcester. I am also a Visiting Lecturer at Warwick University and I teach child health to Early Childhood Studies students. I started my working life as a Registered General Nurse and then trained as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. After leaving hospital work I moved into the community and worked as a practice nurse where I developed an interest in the care of children with asthma.

Fifteen years ago, I moved into education and taught on a range of child care qualifications. After eight years of teaching and managing the Early Years Foundation Degree in a college of Further Education, I moved to my current post at UW in April 2012. My research interests include the care and education of children aged birth to three and the effect of health on children’s education and holistic development. My current doctorate research explores how practitioners create inclusive environments in day care settings for children with chronic medical conditions such as anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, eczema and epilepsy.

I joined TACTYC in 2012 and I presented the initial findings of this research at the TACTYC conference in November 2012. There is a briefing paper about my research on the TACTYC website if you wish to find out more. Presenting at the conference was a very enjoyable experience and attending is highly recommended because it is a great way of meeting lots of interesting people who work in the field of early childhood. I am looking forward to having more contact with TACTYC from now on. Please get in touch with me if you would like to ask me anything about my research

Rosie Flewitt photographMy name is Lynn Boyle and I am Programme Convenor (level 8) for the BA Childhood Practice and lecturer on the Teaching Qualification in Further Education at the University of Dundee. Prior to this, I was employed as a childcare lecturer at Dundee College and before that as Development Officer in Childcare at Dundee City Council. My early career was in direct childcare including a one-year post in Rome, Italy when I became very interested in community learning. I am enthusiastic in my teaching and learning in the tertiary education sector and have become more interested in digital literacy and promoting student personal learning networks as they work through their studies, often part time and at a distance.

My teaching is informed by my practice experience, as is my recent entry into the world of research. I have worked with many colleagues across the university and across the globe to increase my own personal learning network and have found common interest in distance and e learning to be extremely useful. My other research and professional interests are in attachment theory and care for the under 3’s. Recently I have been delivering CPD to Early Years Practitioners in Dundee and South Lanarkshire looking at professional observation techniques and informing practice through a practice and theoretical knowledge base. I am always keen to increase my personal learning network and hope you may consider finding me on twitter @boyledsweetie.

Rosie Flewitt photographI’m Rosie Flewitt and I’m a Senior Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education at the Institute of Education, London, and a member of the London Knowledge Lab.

I first came across TACTYC whilst studying for my Ph.D. at the University of Southampton in 1999, initially via the excellent Early Years journal, and subsequently at various TACTYC gatherings. As a newcomer to the English academic world, I was heartened to find so many warm and friendly individuals who are dedicated to improving early years provision. I joined the executive committee while ago and have produced Occasional Paper 3 for the organisation.

My commitment to early education began whilst working in preschool playgroups during the 1990s, where I became fascinated by the many different ways that young children communicate their understandings – not just through language, but using their bodies to express themselves, along with subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) changes of gaze direction and facial expression. This deep interest led to a Masters in Education at the OU, an ESRC-funded PhD and post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Southampton, and an RCUK Academic Fellowship at the OU.

Over recent years, my research has included investigations into: evaluating Sure Start nursery provision; how young children with complex learning disabilities communicate with others in different social settings; how young children develop early literacy at home and in early education as they engage with printed and digital texts in their everyday lives; and how touch-screen technologies can be used to enhance early story-telling. I always endeavour to gain children’s perspectives in my research, by spending time with them at home and in their early education settings, by talking with them, their parents and teachers, and where possible, by including their voices in research reporting. Ultimately, I believe that in order to improve the quality of early education, we need to stand back and look at provision from children’s points of view.

Jane Murray photographMy name is Jane Murray. In 1983, I completed my Bachelor of Education degree, specializing in ‘first school’ and music and began my teaching career. I went on to work with children aged 2-13 years in various settings including first, infant, primary and middle schools, a music school and a family centre nursery. During the years I spent teaching children, I completed my Master’s degree and was involved in writing for music education and home- school learning projects. I also embarked on the National Professional Qualification for Headship, completing shortly after my move to a post in higher education in 2003.

My current role as Senior Lecturer at The University of Northampton involves me in supporting early years’ practitioners to develop professionally through my teaching across a range of early years’ programmes and my leadership of our early years’ Master’s modules. I am particularly passionate about promoting young children’s capabilities and participation through my teaching, research and writing; I have a number of publications and have presented my work in several countries. I recently completed my PhD on young children’s research behaviours.

In addition to my TACTYC membership, I also serve as an elected member of the Executive with special responsibility for conferences. I am also fortunate to sit on the National Children’s Bureau’s membership forum. In these roles, I am intent on finding ways for the views of young children, their families and their practitioners to be acknowledged, respected and enacted. I have a strong commitment to early childhood gaining the high status it deserves in this country.

Away from the world of early years, I am married and with three children in their teens and twenties, enjoy nothing more than time spent with family and friends. I also enjoy playing the ‘cello, piano and guitar, but as I lack sufficient time to practise these days, sadly this enjoyment is rarely shared!

Margaret Simms photographMy name is Margaret Simms. Having left school in1969 with 3 GCE’s and no prospects, I now have a loving husband, 5 grown up children, a Ph.D in Retention of Early Years Practitioners in Day Nurseries and my own early years and childcare consultancy in Nottingham.

The business – ProCEEd Early Years Consultancy – was born out of a long and happy relationship with the early years, childcare and education sectors that began in 1986 when I was a childminder. By 1989, I was intent on improving childcare facilities in my local village, Bilsthorpe. Together with a small committee of dedicated women, I acquired a school classroom and set up a toddler group, playgroup and ‘bumps and babes’. Then, as now, quality early years and childcare training was key to successful practice and personal and professional growth.

I took up my first lecturing post in1992 at South Nottingham College, teaching childcare to students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. They taught me how to become a successful lecturer. Over the next twenty years I designed, delivered and moderated early years, childcare and parenting programmes, led a high profile childcare recruitment campaign for Nottingham City Council and worked in Higher Education.

My professional and academic learning journey has opened the door to publication and presentation at SERA, BERA, S-STEP, EECERA and other national and international conferences. Joining TACTYC is the icing on the cake! It is a huge privilege to be working alongside so many ‘big names’ in the early years field.

Trisha Maynard photographMy name is Trisha Maynard and I was Professor of Early Childhood Studies at both Swansea University and Canterbury Christchurch, and took on the role of Chair of TACTYC (2009 to 2012). Having been an infant school teacher for five years, I made the leap into academia in 1991, initially working as a part-time research assistant and part-time tutor on the Primary PGCE. Within a year I decided to study for a PhD; it was a great relief to my family, and to my supervisor, when this was completed in 1998! Since that time I have been a lecturer and then a senior lecturer, before being appointed as Professor in 2007.

I am proud to have been involved in the establishment of the BSc in Early Childhood Studies at Swansea University – the first degree of its kind in Wales – and in building, and for many years in running, a successful Department of (Early) Childhood Studies. As for my research interests, these have included student teachers’ school-based learning and the role of the mentor; boys and literacy; and more recently, Reggio-inspired pedagogies, the Foundation Phase for Wales, outdoor play and learning and young children’s well-being.

Other than my role in TACTYC, I have numerous external activities that keep me busy: for example, I was a Trustee for ‘Children in Wales’ and ‘Play Wales’ and sit on the Editorial Advisory Board for BBC Children’s Magazines. I have also been an education consultant for ‘Harry and Toto’ a series of animated cartoons shown on CBeebies – this greatly boosted my ‘street cred’ with my five wonderful grandchildren!

Estelle Martin photographMy name is Estelle Martin. I have been a member of TACTYC for several years now and have always found the range of contributions and interests of the association to be representative of both contemporary early years practice but also an important voice in influencing policy and research interests shared and encouraged through the Early Years journal as well as at the conference level. I certainly have been inspired by the quality of member contributions in the organisation.

I have been involved as a professional in early years education and care for thirty years across the disciplines in nursery to higher education, social services, psychology service (CAMHS) and postgraduate studies. I have worked in a range of settings in inner and outer London and also in the counties/provinces.

I was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies in the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and an associate Tutor with University of East Anglia and an EYPS assessor and Lecturer at University Campus Suffolk. My own research interest is a focus on emotional processes and learning in the early childhood. I am currently working towards my Ph.D. in this subject area.

I have been a co-opted member of the TACTYC Exec in the past and have experience of sitting on steering groups – some examples are (EYE – formerly EYTARN) and developmental work (supervision procedures and guidelines), Equal Opportunities committee (education) and the Thomas Coram Listening To Young Children project. I continue to learn and engage with all aspects of teaching and learning with young children and their communities and have a real interest in the policy and practice issues that are current and emergent.

Pat Beckley photographMy name is Pat Beckley. I am a Senior Lecturer at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, working in Initial Teacher Training, with responsibility for the co-ordination of Early Years issues on the course team.

I began my career as a Key Stage 2 co-ordinator and became committed to Early Years practice when I helped to lead a play group while my children were young. I found taking Early Years qualifications stimulating and later enjoyed running a large early years unit for many years. As part of my work as an Advanced Skills Teacher for early years, I had the privilege of liaising with colleagues from a range of settings and backgrounds throughout the country.

My research has included a study of Early Years literacy in Hull, reflective action research and case studies to encourage the promotion of inclusion and diversity. I am currently engaged in research for my doctorate based on a comparative study between settings in Hedmark, Norway and Lincolnshire. I’ve endeavoured to keep fully up-to-date with initiatives and have sought to maintain links with colleagues which were established as part of Comenius projects and European Conferences.

I have been a member of TACTYC for a number of years and served on the Executive committee from 2006-2015. I enjoyed participating in discussions regarding relevant policies and practice on a National scale. I’ve found TACTYC Conferences inspiring, leaving me feeling eager to introduce the ideas and initiatives discussed, while re-affirming the crucial nature of early years practice.

Wendy Scott photographMy name is Wendy Scott and I am honoured to be President of TACTYC.  I am a Froebel trained early years teacher with eighteen years’ experience in a range of settings, including rural and inner city schools, and the private and voluntary sectors. I have a first class honours degree in psychology and have been trained in counselling and Portage as well as extensive curriculum and management issues.

Following the headship of a demonstration nursery school, I was appointed Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education at Roehampton University, where I co-ordinated the first advanced diploma in multi-professional studies in the UK. After three years as an ILEA district inspector for the early years, and then primary inspector in Kensington and Chelsea, I worked across England as an OfSTED Registered Inspector and nursery inspector and trainer. I became Chair, and then Chief Executive of The British Association of Early Childhood Education and the first elected Chair of the national Early Childhood Forum. During this period, I worked on the identification and evaluation of Early Excellence Centres and gained experience of lobbying government.

After two years as a specialist adviser to the DfES at the time that Sure Start was introduced, I returned to consultancy, working abroad with the British Council and UNICEF as well as with local authorities across England. I have had the pleasure of judging Nursery World’s Nursery of the Year Award since 2006, and served on the expert panel for the Nutbrown Review of Early Years Qualifications in 2012.

I was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to early years education and care, and look forward to continuing to support TACTYC’s significant work. Please do feel that you can get in touch to let me know about your concerns and successes.

Anita Soni photographMy name is Anita Soni and I work part time as an Educational Psychologist for Worcestershire County Council. In addition, I also work for Open University as an Associate Lecturer on Foundation Degree courses, and deliver training on Birth to Three Matters and aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

At times I feel I need to make a decision about what I want to be when I grow up! Having said this, my various jobs have the common thread of involving work with young children, their families and the practitioners who support them. I feel strongly that this is where my heart and soul lies.

I have been a member of TACTYC for several years, following a recommendation from Claire Mould.  I had enjoyed reading articles from the Early Years journal for some time before this, both to support my own studies and also to share with other practitioners in schools and early years settings. I have found the Newsletters, journals and website are invaluable, and have provided a greater understanding of the developments and debate that surrounds those of us working in the field of early years at a time of great change.

I was originally co-opted on to the Executive Committee last year and have recently been elected and appointed Secretary to the Exec. It is stimulating to listen and participate in the passionate debate on policies and practices. It is definitely worth joining TACTYC, and even considering joining the Executive.

Janet Moyles photographMy name is Janet Moyles. I was professor of early childhood education and research at Anglia Ruskin University and senior lecturer in the same field at University of Leicester, running the largest early years PGCE course in the country at one time – now freelance.

At present, I’m the website editor for TACTYC, having previously been Chair of the Association for nearly seven years. I’ve been a member of TACTYC since the late-1980s and have enjoyed (almost) every moment of it!

I originally became a member of TACTYC because I’d been to AGMs and other meetings for several years and really enjoyed the lively debates which took place and the interesting and motivated people I met. Informed discussion has always been at the heart of TACTYC and this has continued over the years. I find that the Executive meetings and conferences stimulate much really good thinking and ideas which sustain other interests I have, including recently becoming a governor at a local Infant School. The Executive Committee are all dedicated people and share a wealth of experiences and expertise from different backgrounds in the early years sector, which makes for lively meetings geared to promoting the work of TACTYC and to serving the needs of our members. I’ve always felt it would be great to have more responses from our members so that we have clear information about what is needed to sponsor their early years work.

With five grandchildren (although they’re growing up fast!), I’m still very much involved in my own immediate early years – and play – world as well as supporting practitioners through writing about, exploring and evaluating early years issues. My latest edited collection, is the fourth edition of The Excellence of Play (Open Uni Press/McGraw Hill) which aims to support practitioners in thinking through the many issues integral to thinking about quality play experiences in schools and settings.. Wherever possible, I’m still dedicated to learning more about children’s play and justifying it in an educational context, a passion which just won’t go away!

Maulfry Worthington photographMy name is Maulfry Worthington. I am currently writing up my doctoral research on the emergence of mathematical symbols and representations in early childhood, at the VU University, Amsterdam, and am joint founder of the international Children’s Mathematics Network.

With a long career in Early Years education I’m determined to continue as an advocate for the best in young children’s education: one valuable way of doing this is to join with others as a strong, shared ‘voice’ in an organization such as TACTYC. As a member of TACTYC for a number of years I have appreciated the professional role that TACTYC takes on a full range of aspects of early childhood education and training.

I have been part of the Executive committee of TACTYC since 2004 and feel very privileged to be working alongside the other executive members and to contribute to the work of TACTYC and currently edit the Newsletters. Consultations provide a sense of having a voice that will be heard and of being able to help shape policy. Long before I was a member, I sought out TACTYC’s journal Early Years in the University library as one of the key research journals for this phase of education (but so much better to have my own copy!). The growing popularity of the website and the success of the newsletter are also markers of a very active and successful organization. I think most of all I enjoy the real ‘buzz’ from meetings with a group of friendly, like-minded people who are passionate about the things that matter; are willing to stand up and be counted and who bring such a range of expertise and experience!

Jane Payler photographMy name is Jane Payler and I am currently Professor at the Open University. Until November 2015, I was TACTYC Chair and up to August 2015, Faculty Head of Research/senior lecturer in Early Years Education at University of Winchester, Department of Interprofessional Studies. Formerly I was a Health Education Officer in Birmingham, an Education Research Fellow and Early Years Professional Status Assessor at the University of Southampton, following full time doctoral research there. I first became aware of TACTYC several years ago through its excellent journal, Early Years. The benefits to me of being a member of TACTYC continue to be its great networking opportunities, its brilliant way of helping me to keep up-to-date and the chance to have a say in early years policy and practice.

Having taught early years care and education in further education colleges for years and having been closely involved with the running of a pre-school playgroup and crèche, I began early years research for an MPhil. It didn’t take long to realise the value of the Early Years journal to my MPhil studies and later PhD in young children’s learning processes. I looked around for ways to network with others involved in early years practice, training and research and noticed the TACTYC details inside the journal.

Attendance at my first TACTYC conference confirmed that joining had been a very good decision. For me, TACTYC has always been a friendly, forward-thinking organisation with its roots firmly in early years practice and its face to the future. Its ‘roll-your-sleeves-up’ attitude towards working to influence early years policy for the benefit of young children means that it is very well connected and is helping to shape early years care and education across the country.

I was co-opted on to the Executive in 2005 later becoming an elected member and then Chair and I thoroughly enjoy contributing to TACTYC’s work. I look forward to continuing to help the organisation in maintaining its important role. I look forward to meeting more of you at future conferences!

Published: April 19, 2017 | Print