Board of Trustees
I spent my early years in Malaysia where my father worked for the government (Her Majesty's Overseas Service). Until the age of 8 I lived at home with my parents in Malaysia until I was sent to boarding school in the UK, this was a shock to the system! Although my parents finally settled back in the UK when I was 12, I continued at boarding school till 'A Levels'. I took English, French and Spanish and then went on to studied English & French at university gaining a Combined Hons. Degree after which I studied and gained a. PGCE,.I taught in Nigeria for two years as a VSO volunteer then marriage and motherhood. I have three daughters.. I returned to teaching in my mid-40s after running a 50/50 shop for about 8 years, first with a business partner and later as a Sole Trader. I taught Languages for several years, initially at secondary school but I preferred teaching the younger age group and specialised in teaching languages in primary school. I later taught languages privately from home. I have taught all ages from 5 to 75! After retirement, I volunteered at our local baby cafe for breastfeeding mothers and also reading with children at a local primary school. I have always believed passionately that babies need their mothers - and vice versa, a lot of damage and suffering can be caused by separating mums from their infants too early. I bonded with my own mother during my early years as she was always there for me when I needed her, and I think all young children should have the same opportunity to be close to their own mothers.
Dr Carole Ulanowsky
Carole has worked across all sectors of education and in the informal sector as an Ante-natal/Preparation for Parenthood Teacher for the NCT. Work in Higher Education began at the University of Hull, Social Values Research Centre, and then several years as a senior academic in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the Open University. Retirement from F/T work enabled completion of her doctorate Women as Mothers: changing role perceptions - an inter-generational study mapping considerable socio-cultural change for women: 1970-2000. The research highlighted significant role tension between the self-sacrifice of motherhood and the call of personal achievement and status.
Consultancy work for The University of Northampton on Research Projects Supervision and involvement with the BA (Hons) course in Childhood Studies at Nottingham Trent University more recently afforded insights into the perspectives and challenges facing Early Years practitioners.
Having raised 4 children herself, for some years as a single parent following early widowhood, and now a grandmother of 6, Carole remains in touch with the practical challenges of parenthood. She is especially committed to giving the 'Under 3s' the very best start life and so is delighted to be involved with What About the Children?
I am a mother of 3 with 9 grandchildren. Before children, I worked in the fashion world and during their childhood, as volunteer children's charities and as a volunteer guide in a museum. I joined What About The Children? after reading a letter in the press from the Chairman. I realised that, while the new and understandable demands of women were being recognised and encouraged, the never-changing needs of the under-threes had been totally over-looked. For the sake of the children and for the future of society, I believe we need to look at the situation dispassionately and together work out how best to solve this dichotomy.
I was educated in the Netherlands where I gained qualifications as an Early Years Teacher and Head Teacher. I have extensive experience in early years work around the UK and beyond working with pre-school families and in the Toy Library world. I have attended and addressed conferences, delivered workshops and seminars in the UK, Europe and South Africa.
Freelance work has included play and learning sessions to compliment SEAL (Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning) in a variety of ways in primary schools in Cheshire.
At the forefront of all this works was always the importance of play and the involvement of parents and carers with their children from birth if not before. I am committed to helping families to achieve opportunities to improve their quality of life and to HAVE FUN!
Lydia has over 30 of experience working in education in London including 10 years of Headship. Her initial teaching qualification and experience is in the field of Special Educational Needs and Early Years. She has represented primary schools on various consultative groups for example, Early Years and Childcare Partnership, Home Start Steering Group, more recently she worked as an independent Education Consultant. Since retiring from full time work she has been a volunteered at Michael Sobell House Hospice and steward at St George's Chapel Windsor.
I was fortunate to attend the Froebel Institute to train as a nursery/ primary school teacher. It was the start of a lifelong interest in early childhood development. I taught in mainstream schools and special needs in both the UK and Republic of Ireland. I also worked for the Pre School Playgroup Association (PPA)and the sister association in Ireland ( IPPA) on National and Regional committees and as an adult trainer. As the Training Manager of the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries I developed training for both parents and practitioner based on understanding the importance of early childhood relationships and the value of play. Becoming a Trustee of What About The Children? is another link in a lifetime passion.
Linda studied medicine at Liverpool University. She has a portfolio career which includes General Practice, Forensic Medical Examiner and Associate Specialist in Contraception & Sexual Health. She has two daughters and four grandchildren, when her daughters were young her main role was as a mother at home but during this time she volunteered with the Pre-School Playgroup Association where she learnt the value of learning through play. Later when her daughters were teenagers she studied for a Masters in Philosophy & Health Care Ethics. She is concerned that the emotional needs of young children are not at the forefront of society today.
I am interested in how the baby's brain grows, and how it is negatively affected by chemicals in the environment or stress from life around the baby. I have lived in Denmark and Ireland in the early 1980’s and this led me to see the different approaches of women and nations to work and childcare balance. I believe that many areas of research have been described which may change our behaviour in the future. We need to inform ourselves of the up-to-date work which is now at our finger-tips.
My background is in Biochemistry and Genetics, both subjects which help me to understand the current literature on what is happening to the children's brains and how negative effects can be carried on into teens and adulthood as well as to the following generation.