• Dandelion Education

Our Founders

Dandelion Founders, Hayley Room and Emma Harwood, actively promote the excellence of Early Years practice. Their expertise and commitment to exemplary standards has been widely recognised, and was most recently acknowledged with the accolade given of ‘Top 5 most inspirational leaders in Early Years’ by Nursery Management Times (NMT).

Furthermore, the Institution for Apprentices (IFA), which worked towards improving standards in apprenticeships, used the expertise of Emma to mould the new Early Years apprenticeships, ensuring the new qualifications met the needs and expertise of the sector.

Emma was also selected to deliver a TED talk. Her focus was on the development of Emotional Literacy: Small Children, Giant Voices; she passionately spoke on their importance of empowering children through communication.

Scroll to watch! 'Small children , giant voices : empowering children through communication'

Hayley, an award winning writer, has also written articles for Teach Early Years, where she shares Dandelion’s visions and values.

Both managing directors, Hayley and Emma, have also spoken at conferences, judged nursery awards categories for the NMT, delivered training sessions in England and Scotland, and delivered parent workshops; Erasmus students, volunteers, work placement students, Masters and PHD students in higher-education have completed research and placements at Dandelion, and are welcomed into Dandelion for study and research purposes.

Alongside many awards, Dandelion has received a large media presence over the last 9 years, since the birth of Dandelion. They continue to strive for the acknowledgment of the value of Early years and continually aim to raise the profile of excellent early years practice.


"How can we reform education so that it returns to holding child-centred​ learning, and holistic child-development, at its heart?

Learn about the amazing work of Dandelion- a totally outdoor setting, and how children are free​ to play, explore, imagine, and learn; how every child is able to reach their potential; and how it empowers small children, giving them giant voices.

Surely this is a dream which will equip today’s children for tomorrow’s world? Emma Harwood is co-founder of Dandelion Education Ltd; this outstanding setting, awarded Nursery Of The Year 2017, is a values-led, ethos driven business, with resolute beliefs.

With 25 years of teaching experience, Emma has developed sound pedagogy which holds child centred learning, and holistic child-development, at its heart. She believes that each child has unique potential.

Emma has a passion for education; she dreams of an education system in which every child is free to play, explore, imagine, and learn; in which every child is able to reach their potential; a dream that nurtures creative and critical thinking; a dream that empowers small children, giving them giant voices."

Caption from TED X Talks YouTube