40 Years of Busy Bees

Our Management Team

Curved shape

Who leads Busy Bees?

With hundreds of nurseries spread all over the globe, it takes more than one brilliant person to lead a company like Busy Bees.

We have CEOs in Europe, Australia, North America and Asia, an overall group CEO, and both legal and financial specialists, all of whom lend their years of expertise to make Busy Bees the absolute best we can be. That is how we have grown from a small, local company to an international nursery group, bringing the best start in life to children worldwide.

Chris McCandless - Europe Chief Executive Officer

Chris McCandless - Chief Executive Officer, Europe

Chris joined Busy Bees in 2019 and successfully led our European operations until his appointment as European Chief Executive in 2023. His strategic focus is on supporting our aspiration to become the largest childcare group in the world, ensuring more children are given the Busy Bees Best Start in Life.

We benefit from Chris's wide previous experience in national retail and leisure industries, where he demonstrated significant management and commercial success. One of his key strengths is building high-performing teams, ensuring colleagues are supported and encouraged to develop their professional practice, and positively engaged in helping Busy Bees to meet its long-term goals.

Global Team

Simon Irons - Group Chief Executive Officer

Simon Irons - Group Chief Executive Officer

In 2018 Simon took over from co-founder John Woodward to become our Group CEO, but he has actually been involved with Busy Bees for more than 30 years.

In 1989 Simon advised on our early business plans, in 1998 he joined the board, and in 2000 he became a full-time member of the management team as our Chief Financial Officer. He has supported us from the very beginning too, having sent his three sons to the first ever Busy Bees nursery, Rocklands.

Over the years, Simon has been an essential part of the team that helped Busy Bees grow from a small group managing around 25 nurseries to the global childcare provider it is today - and we can't wait to see where he takes us next.

Cheryl Creaser - Group Chief Operating Officer, UK

Cheryl Creaser - Group Chief Operating Officer

Cheryl started her career with us in 1997 and worked her way up to Group Chief Operating Officer, responsible for operations worldwide. Having worked in most operational roles in the business there is not much she does not know about Busy Bees.

As a mother of two boys, Cheryl also understands what life is like as a Busy Bees parent, and is passionate about giving every child the best start in life. Her dedication to delivering exceptional childcare balanced alongside her commercial acumen has helped Busy Bees to become the leading childcare provider across the UK and Ireland.

Matt Davies - Group Chief Financial Officer

Matt Davies - Group Chief Financial Officer

Matt joined as our Group Chief Financial Officer at the end of 2018, bringing many years of experience in financial and operational leadership roles across a number of international public and private equity owned businesses. Before joining Busy Bees, he was based out of Dubai, leading the Middle East and Asia region of a private equity owned laboratory testing business.

Matt runs our global finance function with responsibility for financial performance across the group. He also leads on banking and investor relations, with responsibility for IT, property and M&A.

Marg Randles - Chief Academic Officer

Marg Randles - Chief Academic Officer

Marg is one of the co-founders of Busy Bees in 1984, she commits to making sure we are delivering exceptional care and education right across the UK. She received an OBE in 2015 for services to children and families which demonstrates her dedication to providing the best care and educational opportunities for children.

Marg is a qualified teacher and worked with children with complex needs before she founded the very first Busy Bees in Lichfield, Staffordshire, more than 30 years ago. Marg's decades of experience, along with her brilliant connections with the government, local authorities, and national associations, have helped us to get where we are today - and she keeps us grounded too.

June Rudson - Chief Executive Officer, Asia

June Rusdon - Chief Executive Officer, Asia

A successful entrepreneur and trendsetter in early childhood and teachers' education, June founded the Learning Vision nursery group and conceptualised Odyssey, The Global Preschool, both of which are now part of the Busy Bees Asia family.

June is using her years of management experience and incredible reputation in childcare to grow Busy Bees Asia. With more than 20 years spent leading and growing businesses by putting customers first, nurturing talent, and promoting strong processes, we can't think of anyone better.

Mary Ann Curran - Chief Executive Officer, Canada

Mary Ann Curran - Chief Executive Officer, North America

Mary Ann has been part of what is now known as Busy Bees North America since 2012, and helped the original company to raise the bar for early years education in Canada. Before moving into childcare, she gained over 20 years’ experience in strategic roles, including executive positions at well-known brands.

Today Mary Ann leads our work in North America, overseeing 125 centres across Canada and the United States. Motivated by her passions for education and childcare, she is driving our mission and business as we expand across the continent.

Ceri Williams-Jones - Group General Counsel

Ceri Williams-Jones - Group General Counsel

Ceri was in-house legal counsel at Rolls-Royce plc before she joined Busy Bees, helping the global engineering group manage risk on projects - especially mergers and acquisitions.

Ceri became Busy Bees' Group General Counsel at the end of 2019. She is effectively our legal lead, providing us with strategic legal advice, overseeing our relationships with external legal advisers, and managing legal risk and governance across the group.