top of page

Ways to work with Me

Online Professional Training

Mentorship & Supervision


Consultancy & Speaker Events

For Parents - Budding Babies 



Hi I'm Carly Budd, the founder of the Developmental Play Academy. 

I graduated from the University of Essex with a 1st Class BSc Hons Occupational Therapy (OT) degree in 2008. During my studies I worked part time as a respite worker for a local charity, supporting children with additional needs and their families. Connecting with these little ones and their caregivers was the catalyst for me pursuing a specialism in Paediatrics as a qualified OT.


After graduation I worked as a newly qualified OT at the Child Development Centre in Harlow, Essex, I then took a permanent position in Community Paediatrics based at the Herts & Essex Hospital, Bishops Stortford. 

Here I covered a caseload of children aged 0-18 with varying needs and disabilities, assessing them in clinic, home and school environments. My job involved creating play based programmes, prescribing specialist aids and equipment, delivering individual and group blocks of therapy using play as the tool. I was also involved in delivering weekly classes within SureStart centres focusing on Tummy Time and movement based play for promotion of developmental skills. 

In 2011, I moved on to a Specialist post in Paediatric Rehabilitation in Colchester, Essex, where I carried a more complex caseload of children with developmental delays, physical and neurological disabilities, sensory difficulties, complex medical needs, and palliative care.

As well as spending one day a week in a Special School, I began to specialise in infants and preschoolers, with children ages 0-5 being the bulk of my caseload. During this time I had links with Tertiary hospitals including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Addenbrooke's Hospital, as well as East Anglian Children's Hospice. Every day I witnessed the power of play and playfulness in action.

Fuelled by a mission to spread information about the benefits of play amongst more families, I decided to train in Baby Massage and Baby Yoga in early 2014. Little did I know the change in career path I would encounter following this decision.


In Autumn 2014 I had my first baby, followed by my second in 2017.  I left my NHS job, instead taking on some private OT cases. In 2017, Bud & Bloom Baby was born - a local service where I combined my OT knowledge on play and development with my qualifications as a Baby Massage & Baby Yoga Teacher.  Parents LOVED learning ways to connect with their baby and toddlers whilst also supporting their development through love, touch and play.  When parents understood the WHY and the HOW, they started taking more of this knowledge away with them. My spaces provided opportunities to connect and play, whilst empowering parents to take more play home. 

In 2019 I studied a Level 3 in Teaching and Education and became a lecturer in Baby Massage and Baby Yoga for a Global Training school. I loved the role of lecturer and the opportunity to bring in OT knowledge around sensory and child development into the courses and student's learning.


With all my knowledge, experience and passion it was time for me to create my own training school, and in January 2020 the Carly Budd Developmental Play Academy® was founded.


Since this time I have welcomed over 350 students to the Academy and have practitioners working across the globe. I have written two Level 3 Diplomas courses, as well as a number of CPD courses, Tummy Time Play Practitioner being my signature training.

Throughout my career I have continued to update and further my own learning and knowledge, undertaking additional training including Intro to Bobath Baby, Sensory Integration (M1), Sensory Beginnings Master Course, and Brazelton Neonatal Behavioural Observations (NBO). 

I would love to get to know you, and whether you think we can work together. Feel free to contact me email or check out my courses below.

bottom of page