After an early career in outdoor education, I worked for a children’s charity supporting the development of the first National Childcare Strategy and then as an independent researcher and consultant managing and delivering a wide range of research and consultancy projects related to early childhood education and care (ECEC) and children’s play.
I completed doctoral research examining why parents make choices between informal and formal childcare, and continue to publish and write about ECEC policy in Wales. In 2009 I was seconded to work within Welsh Government to coordinate the development of a cross-sector Children & Young People’s Workforce Strategy. In 2014 I was appointed by to the Task & Finish Group reviewing ECEC regulation and inspection and co-authored the ‘Graham Report’ which was submitted to Welsh Ministers. More recently I was awarded an ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant and in partnership with Save the Children Wales ran a Wales ECEC policy symposium, the outcomes of which are proving to be significant in relation to Welsh Government policy.
Since completing my doctoral studies I have gained range of research experience on a number of projects. As part of the Bangor University WISERD civil society team examining change in places over time, I have a particular interest in examining the determinants of local volunteering activity and extended this work through the award of funding from UK charity 'Local Trust'. With the Wales Kidney Research Unit I led on a recently published systematic review examining transition issues for young people with kidney disease and media analysis related to the introduction of opt-out organ donation legislation. Most recently I have worked with Wales School of Social Care Research and undertaken qualitative research with older people with complex social care needs.