NDNA Scotland Policy Committee
NDNA Scotland’s Policy Committee advises the Strategic Board on policy issues. It is made up national and regional chairs and additional members with specific areas of expertise.
Purnima Tanuku OBE
Chief Executive and chair of NDNA’s Policy Committees
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.
Scotland National Chair
Ann is a Director of a company owning three nurseries and has been an NDNA Ann is a Director of a company owning two nurseries and has been an NDNA member for over 20 years. Ann is committed to the ethos and aims of NDNA and will listen to, and take forward, Scottish members involvement.
Director of Policy and Communications
Jonathan is responsible for promoting the great work of our members and speaking on behalf of the sector, representing members to government officials, politicians and local authorities across the country. Jonathan also supports Purnima in meetings with parliamentarians across England, Scotland and Wales and also works with the press office in responding to the media about childcare developments and issues.
ELC and Strategic Partnerships Manager – NDNA Scotland
Jane leads on NDNA’s contribution to policy development and guidance on the delivery of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland, develops strategic partnerships and ensures there is an effective voice for the private and third sector. Jane also manages the NDNA Scotland team and goes on the telly from time to time.
Jane is currently completing her doctorate in Education from the University of Edinburgh and has over 20 years of experience working in Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland. Jane has been a childminder, a playgroup leader, a pre-school nursery manager and a lecturer, assessor and tutor in both Further Education and Higher Education, in Childhood Practice. Jane has a passion for ensuring children are able to realise their rights from the earliest age and is a strong advocate of high quality ELC.
Aberdeen and the Shire Network Chairs – Ann Robertson
Ann has worked in childcare since 1992, working her way through various settings within the NHS since joining in 1993, gaining experience until she started in her current role of Childcare Co-ordinator /Nursery Manager based at a NHS in Aberdeen. Due to a busy workload, Ann co-chairs the Aberdeen and the Shires Network.
East and Midlothian Network Chair – We currently don’t have a Network chair
Edinburgh Network Chair – Sandy Towers
Sandy is the nursery director of a setting located in a suburb of Edinburgh, which has been open since 1997. What began as two members of staff and five children, has grown over the years to employing around 18 full-time staff and offering places to 59 children ranging from 3 months to 5 years. The nursery has the principal objective of providing meaningful pre-school education and childcare within a safe, friendly and caring nursery environment. Sandy who was previously a Chartered Accountant works alongside his wife, Marion, who prior to opening their own business was a Primary School teacher.
Falkirk Network Chair – Susan Hill
Susan is the Director of a private nursery in Falkirk which has been in operation for over 23 years and an active member of NDNA for more than 10 years. Susan is the chair of the Falkirk Network and joined the Policy Committee to be involved and share some of the challenges of the nursery sector.
Glasgow Network Chair – Melanie Mackin
Mel works between two settings of the family owned business and is the Managing Director of one of them. Mel has over 30 years’ experience in Childcare management (LLB, MEd and MBA) and currently also tries to raise issues from members in the South Lanarkshire area as they are without a network.
Highlands, Moray and Shetland Network Chair – Carol MacRae
Carol is the owner of a family run business, which has three settings catering for children from 0 to 12 years of age. Carol says “To sit and wait is not an option, being part of NDNA and particularly as Chair means we can inform change and be one step ahead. I have the support of a range of professionals and knowledge of new policies and thinking, as well as putting forward the voice of the private sector, to make a difference for the children and parents we serve.”
Stirling Network Chair – Mairi Clark
Mairi is Managing Director of two Montessori Nurseries one in Killearn and the other in Glasgow City Centre. Mairi has gathered a vast amount of experience having worked with Montessori Nurseries for 28 years.
Mairi is acutely aware that for the children of today must learn to be imaginative, communicative and creative thinkers. They need to have embedded in them curiosity, determination and the understanding that learning is not a dry, sterile activity but one full of opportunity and fulfilment.
Montessori Nurseries take children from 3 months to 5 years and help them grow into mindful, confident, independent individuals with an enduring love for learning.
West Lothian Network Chair – Craig Irvine
First Class Nursery was set up by my Mum a little over 15 years ago now. I’ve been involved in helping her in various ways throughout that time, but since lockdown I have been much more involved as Mum has taken semi-retirement and we’ve employed a Nursery Manager. I manage our Nursery Manager along with some of my other Freelance work in Sales & Marketing. Previous roles have seen me in senior leadership positions within the hospitality sector.
We’re a small independent nursery and our business has been impacted throughout the years by the policies of the government and local authority. I feel a network like this is really important to speak with one voice as a collective of private providers in the area, hopefully being able to help shape future policy at both a local and national level. As well as that, I think we’d all really benefit from being able to meet fairly regularly, talk through some of the challenges we’re facing and share some best practice.
Co-Optee – Busy Bees Nursery Group – Karen Mackay
Karen Mackay is Head of External Affairs and Partnerships, engaging with Early Years partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors. She also works with membership organisations and civil servants to improve outcomes for children and their families. With over 35 years of experience Karen has been a head teacher of three schools, Ofsted Inspector, head of a local authority, Director of a national charity, DfE Advisor and MD of a multi academy trust.