Purnima Tanuku OBE

Early Years campaigner & Chief Exec of NDNA (National Day Nurseries Association)

Eureka! features an amazing world of possibilities, all in a safe environment. So children can, and do, wander at will, choosing what to investigate.

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As head of the NDNA, Purnima lobbies government for fair treatment for the country’s 15,000 day nurseries. In her other key role, as a mother, she brought her children to Eureka! when they were young – so she was another perfect choice for an ambassador.

Purnima moved to Yorkshire from her native Andhra Pradesh state of India after she finished her Masters degree. Arriving in Yorkshire, Purnima worked in a variety of jobs for the public, private and voluntary sectors. She was the first ethnic communities officer for Leeds City Council and became the first Asian female managing director of an Environmental Regeneration Trust. It was while working in Leeds that she realised that management and leadership were where her strengths lay.

When she arrived at the NDNA ten years ago the organisation had barely more than 20 staff. Today it employs over 60 people and has offices in Wales and Scotland as well as the base in Huddersfield. Purnima represents members with Government, parliamentarians and local authorities, as well as sharing the views of nurseries in the national media. In 2010 Purnima was awarded an OBE for services to families and holds an Institute of Directors Voluntary and Charitable Sector Award for Yorkshire and Humber region.

Purnima, is also a classically trained Indian dancer and chairman of Bradford’s Kala Sangam South Asian Academy of Performing Arts. We have recently seen strut her stuff in our Spark gallery and with the skeleton in All About Me.

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