A team built with experience in children's services, business, change and quality; and specialists in training, research and consultancy
What’s more, our team is able to develop local solutions, whilst being on top of current and future national developments. We have a strong drive to achieve the highest professional and quality standards at all times. Team members regularly work directly with children, young people, parents, practitioners, partners, local authority officers, and government departments. Which means we have a deep, current and informed understanding of needs, concerns and goals.
Select a staff member for more details:
James Hempsall OBE
James Hempsall is director of Hempsall’s, managing editor of Children’s Centre Leader, and national programme director for Childcare Works.
For thirty years he has worked in the children’s services sector driving service improvement, effecting change, and leading national implementation of key Government programmes in pre-school learning and childcare. His work has focused on improving learning outcomes for all children with a particular emphasis on least advantaged children, parental employment, equalities and anti-discriminatory practice. His career has been spent supporting organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop high quality and sustainable childcare, and support families to break the cycles and symptoms of disadvantage and poverty.
James was the National Support Director for the DfE Achieving Two Year Olds, the national support programme for the implementation of early learning for least advantaged two-year-olds (2012-2016). After which he became the National Programme Director for Childcare Works, the DfE national support programme for the implementation of 30 hours childcare (2016-2020). Both programmes were delivered in partnership with Mott MacDonald.
In his career, James has delivered training and qualifications in workplace continuous professional development programmes, further education and university. He is a qualified teacher, holding QTLS and is a Fellow of the Society for Education and Training. He writes blogs and regular columns in the early years and children’s services sector press on policy, practice, strategy, and leadership and management. He has MAs in the Ethics of Social Welfare, and Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy. James maintains a caseload of psychotherapy and coaching/mentoring clients, specialising in supporting leaders and executives to achieve success in work and personal lives. James received the OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June 2015 for services to childcare.
Read his latest speech on Out of school childcare: then, now and next here.
Our Training Manager, Kate Haythornthwaite is a former childminder with a strong track record in adult education and joined Hempsall’s in 2006. Kate holds a Cert Ed and project leads our extensive training programme of CPD training, delivering approximately 100s of events each year. Leading a team of around 15 trainers Kate is responsible for learning outcomes, quality and our safeguarding and child protection work.
Kate is your first contact when you need training designed and delivered.
Barbara Wilson is Director of Social Research Ltd., she supports Hempsall’s work by project managing research projects and by undertaking a Programme Adviser role for 50+ LAs for Childcare Works.
Barbara is a national expert in childcare sufficiency assessment and oversees research activities and reporting and has worked on a wide variety of projects including: evaluation of children’s centres, value for money studies, assessment of traded services, qualitative and quantitative research and numerous childcare sufficiency and demand assessments.
Barbara was lead for childcare sufficiency for several regional government office projects implementing Childcare Act (2006) duties for DfE, and one of four region leads for Achieving Two Year Olds (A2YO). Barbara also works as a Local Government Association early years social mobility peer reviewer for local authorities and DfE.
Jo Pringle MBE
Our Strategic Consultant, Jo Pringle MBE, has a thorough
knowledge of the business and funding aspects of early years and childcare
She has project managed various early years entitlement pilots and trials both for local authorities and regional government. Jo leads on our business and management training and engagement with schools.
Jo is a Childcare Works Programme Adviser covering the North of England and leading on provider work, and provides one-to-one support for local authority and provider implementation. Jo also leads on our business and management training.
Jo Chapman, our Business Manager, has worked for Hempsall’s since 2000. Jo is an extremely experienced person in office management and administration having managed several office teams during her career.
She is responsible for the business activities within the organisation and supervision of administration. Jo contributes to continuous improvement and development of processes and procedures. She leads our commitment to a systems approach benefiting internal and external service delivery, including our Quality Management System ISO 9001 2015.
Sufiyan Khalifa, Project Support, joined Hempsall’s through an apprenticeship placement, and college studies in 2015.
He officially joined the team as a full time staff member in 2017. Sufiyan assists with the day to day smooth running of the organisation. His work includes assisting the training manager with quality assurance of documents, helping run our websites, as well as supporting one with the administration of the Lambeth Paths to Work employability project.
Kay has worked for Hempsalls since 2010
She has more that 30 years experience working in the early years sector as a nursery nurse, setting manager, Ofsted inspector, early years advisor and freelance trainer. She currently works for the London borough of Camden as an EYFS team manager. Kay holds a BA (Hons) degree in early childhood studies aswell as an adult teaching qualification.
Cheryl is one of our consultants and trainers.
She began her career in the National Health Service working on a children’s ward as part of a multi-disciplinary team as a play specialist, helping children to regain skills they may have lost as a result of an illness or an accident. Her role also advised parents/carers about the importance of play when assisting their child to reach their full potential.
Since then, Cheryl has enjoyed working in a variety of leadership roles within the children’s services sector supporting all children and their families, in particular those most vulnerable, and breaking the cycle of disadvantage. She is committed and passionate in driving forward quality improvement in service delivery and improving outcomes for children and young people, making a difference to their lives.
In 2009 Cheryl was the strategic Lead for Integrated Childcare Services 0-19 years for a unitary local authority having responsibility for the design and delivery of high quality, sufficient and sustainable childcare across the borough. This included strategic responsibility for Children’s Centre Services to be transferred from Integrated Childcare Services to the newly formed Early Intervention Services.
Cheryl’s thirty years plus of experience is now shared through consultancy and training across children and young people services 0–25 years. Her specialisms include early years and childcare, inclusion, family support services, extended services and play. She has a degree in early education 0-5 years and qualified as an adult teacher when leaving local government. Cheryl designs and delivers services for children and families, both strategically and operationally on a regional and national basis. Her approach is working collaboratively and leading positive change by helping people and communities to be resilient and sustain themselves in an ever-challenging world.
Aly has worked with Hempsall’s since 2002 as a senior trainer. She has designed and delivered bespoke safeguarding training to a range of local authorities, voluntary organisations, and major companies.
With a background in social work and education Aly has gained approval to deliver training on behalf of a Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards and is accredited as a Safer Recruitment trainer. Her teaching experience includes eight years as a lecturer with course leader responsibilities for a University of Warwick under graduate programme . Aly has a Masters Degree in Education Studies, teaching qualifications and a Safeguarding Children Postgraduate Award. She has built a reputation for putting learners at ease and providing a safe training environment where people are actively encouraged to ask questions and share good practice.
Kerry has worked with Hempsall’s since 2006 as both a trainer and a development officer. Her current other practitioner roles include Child Creative Therapist and Ofsted registered childminder.
Kerry is professional, passionate, and dedicated to improving children’s lives and outcomes through facilitating one-to-one therapy, quality training and supporting other professionals’ and parents’ learning. And of course, by setting a good example of best practice as a practitioner. Developing my extensive and varied professional knowledge is also a passion of Kerry’s, keeping up-to-date with emerging practice, policy and research and cascading this knowledge to others, by way of teaching and mentoring effectively. Kerry’s areas of expertise and significant interest are in safeguarding, child development, neuroscience of the brain, improving outcomes for those affected by adverse child experiences, and the appropriate application of play therapy with traumatised or troubled children.
Cathy has worked with Hempsall’s since 2011 as a trainer, consultant and HAF adviser. She has a career working in housing with communities based within areas of high deprivation, as the Lead Officer for early years, childcare, and children’s centres for a unitary local authority.
Cathy has worked strategically and operationally across sure start local programmes, children’s centres, extended schools, early years – maintained and non-maintained sectors, Family Information Services (FIS), training and development for childcare providers, and play. She was the designated lead officer for Safeguarding on the LA Children’s Board for Early Years and Childcare.
Having completed a MSc degree in Organisational Development, and qualifying as an adult teacher, in 2011 Cathy became an independent consultant, designing and delivering services for children and families, both strategically and operationally. She works regionally and nationally on work commissioned by the Department of Education, and other national organisations, as well as independent commissioned work.
Cathy has a passion to ensure every child and young person, regardless of their starting point in life, is given the individual opportunity to thrive.