Staff Profile

  • Dr Helen Simmons is a Senior Lecturer in Education (CYF) within the Faculty of Health, Education and Society and co-leader of the ‘Families and Communities’ Special Interest Group (SIG) within the Centre for Education and Research.

    Helen is Vice Chair for Policy, Lobbying and Advocacy (National and International) for the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

    Prior to beginning work in higher education in 2008, Helen worked in early childhood settings and as a private nanny. She also taught vocational early years courses at Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges in the UK.

  • Helen teaches on programmes within the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, including the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Degree and the MA Education. Her teaching specialisms centre on the discipline of early childhood, with a particular focus on the sociology of childhood, the social and cultural pressures in modern motherhood, and support for a critically reflective early childhood workforce.

  • Helen has undertaken research and publication relating to leadership in early childhood, parenting, early childhood policy, and her doctoral research provided a feminist post-structuralist analysis of modern motherhood. Her most recent publication, a monograph titled ‘Surveillance of Modern Motherhood: Experiences of Universal Parenting Courses’ was published in 2020 with Palgrave MacMillan.

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Helen Simmons’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.

    • Thompson, P. and Simmons, H. (pending: 2023) ‘Partnership with Parents in Early Childhood, Today’. Learning Matters, Sage. UK.
    • Yates, E. & Simmons, H. (2021) The Student Practitioner as a future leader in Oates, R. & Hey, C. (2020) The Student Practitioner in Early Childhood Studies 2nd edn. Routledge. London, UK.
    • Oates, R. & Simmons, H. (2020) The student practitioner constructing a professional identity in Oates, R. & Hey, C. (2020) The Student Practitioner in Early Childhood Studies 2nd edn. Routledge. London, UK.
    • Nahmad-Williams, L. and Simmons, H. (2018) ‘Early Education’, in Johnston, J., Nahmad-Williams, L., Oates, R. And Wood, V. (ed.) Early Childhood Studies. London: Routledge, pp. 308-343.
    • Simmons, H. & Yates, E. (2014) Leadership in Early Childhood: Leaders’ Views on Their Role in Thomas, M. (2014) A Child’s World: Contemporary issues in Education. Centre for Educational Studies. Wales, UK.