Meet the experts

Support and advice from our hands-on experts

Grown-up holding child

After talking to parents and carers about the sort of people they would like to hear from, CBeebies Grown-ups tried to choose it’s ‘experts’ from professionals with more hands-on childcare experience. We tried to find a team who have actually been out there and smelt the nappies, wrestled the tantrums, or begged for broccoli…and here they are:

Caroline Gee
Caroline is a Reception teacher with twenty years' experience across the primary age-range, as well as a Mum. Her specialism is in music.

Catherine Shorrocks
Catherine is the mother of three boys, the youngest of whom has Down's syndrome. She is employed by her local authority as an Outreach and Family Support Worker, supporting families who have a child with a disability.

Contact A Family
Contact a Family is a registered charity with over 30 years’ experience. They provide support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability. See our web links area on this page for their website.

Dawn Kelly
With a background in health visiting, paediatric nursing and lecturing, Dawn has 24 years experience of child health, development, psychology and parenting skills. She has been Prima Baby magazine’s expert health visitor for almost a decade and now runs a baby and child sleep consultancy.

Daycare Trust
Daycare Trust is the national childcare charity, promoting high quality, affordable childcare for all. They advise parents and carers, amongst others, on many childcare issues. See our web links area on this page for their website.

Emma Loughran
Emma is a teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator in a small Primary school. She has been teaching since 2001 and now has the Curriculum responsibility for PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) and Citizenship, Music and Modern Foreign Languages. She is also a mother of two young CBeebies fans.

English Federation for Disabled Sport
The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is the national body and charity dedicated to disabled people in sport throughout England. Their aim is to improve and increase the opportunities offered, ensuring disabled people have a memorable experience of sport and physical activity. See our web links area on this page for their website.

Geraldine Hills
Geraldine has experience of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal process, as a parent who successfully won a tribunal case for her disabled child. She is also the founder of an inclusive choice consultancy which provides training and consultancy to improve the position of people with disabilities in the education system and public and private services.

Jacqueline Harding
Jacqueline is an international author who specialises in child development and parenting. Jacqueline is former BBC Education Editor and also a previous Head Teacher and advisor to the Government. She sits on the core research committee for the Social Research Council regarding children and media. Jacqueline speaks regularly on radio and is often asked to appear on TV news items as well as chat shows about children and parenting.

Karen Emery
Karen is an Independent Health Visitor who has been working with women, families and children for over 15 years as a midwife and health visitor. She’s passionate about making sure parents receive the best information possible on which to make their own choices. She is also a Mum to three children.

Lucy Cooke
Lucy is a Senior Research Associate at University College London's Health Behaviour Research Centre. Lucy has many years experience in working with and researching children's food preferences and eating habits. 

Lydia Plowman
Lydia is Professor of Education at the University of Stirling and was formerly a teacher in Norfolk schools. She has been involved in research about young children’s encounters with digital media at home and in preschool settings for over a decade and, with Christine Stephen and Joanna McPake, is an author of Growing Up with Technology: Young children learning in a digital world.

Maureen Howell
Maureen is a parent of a child with special needs and, professionally, is a Children’s Services Manager. Maureen heads up the Parent Partnership Team, who help ensure that parents of children with special educational needs are supported and are able to ensure that their children are receiving the right level of support to achieve the best possible outcomes. Maureen is committed to parental participation and ensuring that parents are involved in decision making about their child.

Monica McCaffrey
Monica is the founder and director of Sibs, the only UK charity for siblings of disabled people. Monica has been leading presentations and workshops on sibling issues across the UK for the past 18 years - for siblings, parents, and professionals. She is co-editor of Special Brothers and Sisters: Stories and Tips for Siblings of Children with Special Needs, Disability or Serious Illness, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2005. She grew up with two disabled brothers.

Naomi Sherwood
Naomi is a mum, doctor and has worked in paediatrics for 20 years. She has a particular interest in child development.

Sally Payne
Sally is an occupational therapist and has worked for over 20 years with children and young people. She has a particular interest in supporting people with coordination difficulties and is a Trustee of the Dyspraxia Foundation.

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