Gail Johnson, OBE
BA (Hons), MSc, PGCE, DipSW, NPQICL
A country girl at heart, born and brought up in Gloucestershire, Gail is an experienced Early Years professional who is passionate about children, the preservation of childhood and play-based learning. She is also passionate about education and the opportunities she has to pass on her skills and knowledge to parents and carers, enabling them to feel better equipped to support their child’s learning and development. With over 30 years’ experience in social care and education, working in all sectors from preschool to adult education, she has worked in the Early Years sector for the past 20+ years, much of it with disadvantaged families and in multicultural, multilingual and multi-faith communities. She has worked in management and in advisory roles, but her preference is to work directly with young children 0-5 and their families. It is her belief that every parent wants the very best for their child, and she loves nothing better than to be able to support them in this increasingly demanding role, which is often carried out without the benefits of an extended family network. She accomplishes this by building positive relationships, being a sympathetic listening ear, sharing evidence–based research and modelling good practice in play and learning. She is a mother of two, who loves to write, travel and involve herself in charitable projects. Her work in the community, which included running a Supplementary Saturday School for over 20 years, earned her an OBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List, presented by the Queen, for ‘Services to Education in Gloucestershire’.