Jackie started her working life as a Registered General Nurse and then trained as a Registered Sick Children's Nurse. She worked as a Ward Sister for several years and then moved into practice nursing in inner-city Birmingham. She became involved in nurse education and taught a range of subjects to practice nurses before moving to a college of Further Education to teach Early Years students. Following the introduction of Foundation Degrees, Jackie taught for several years on the programme, working in partnership with Oxford-Brookes University, eventually becoming Course Leader.
Jackie moved to the University of Worcester in 2012, working in the Centre for Children and Families, she became Course Leader for the Early Childhood (Professional Practice) degree and also was appointed Assistant Head of Centre.
Jackie moved to The Open University in October 2017 to be the Programme Leader for Early Childhood. In October 2018, she also became Programme Lead for Education Studies (Primary).
Jackie's doctoral and post-doctoral research brings together her interests in early childhood education and child health. Her research has explored how early years practitioners support the health of young children in early years settings, this research has culminated in a book published by Sage, Supporting Children's Health and Wellbeing. She is currently conducting research into Children's Health Promotion.
Following her move to the OU, Jackie started to play a bigger role in the work of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN), a national organisation and she was appointed joint Vice-Chair for the Research and Knowledge Strategy, she shares the role with Nikki Fairchild from the University of Chichester. The aims of the R and E aspect of the ECSDN are:
To build a coherent and supportive strategy for developing and sharing research amongst member institutions
To seek opportunities to publicise research undertaken by member institutions, maximising its impact and raising the profile of the research and the ECSDN
Advocate for ECSDN research to inform policy and practice in the sector
Besides her deep interest in teaching matters relating to children's health and wellbeing, Jackie is interested in teaching contemporary issues in early childhood education, such as professionalism, practice-based learning,