Who is this network for?

This network is a small and proactive group of Early Years (EY) professionals that was established over five years ago.

Members are EY business owners and/or managers of nurseries and pre-schools.

Their aim is to come together to share ideas, expertise, and experiences as well as training.

They help each other to resolve problems and often find solutions together.

They seek advice and support from one another and from the facilitator (who is an independent advisor/trainer/coach) and have respectful debate on topics of interest and changing legislation.

When does it operate?

Prior to the Covid Pandemic the group would meet up twice a term for a 2 ½ hour meeting at an easily accessible venue, close to Southampton.

Since March 2020, the group has ‘met’ every month for an hour long Zoom meeting.

It is expected that going forward, depending on members preferences, there will be a mix of both virtual ‘get togethers’ and face-to-face meetings as and when social distancing measures ease.

The main benefits of being part of this group:

Linking up with other EY professional members with a range of experience and expertise.

Becoming trusted colleagues in the field of EY. Providing confidentiality within a group situation on sensitive topics – there is a mutually agreed ‘Memorandum of Understanding’.

Dedicated time and space to come together (planned in advance) – to share problems, make suggestions, talk about difficult experiences with no judgement, find solutions, have respectful debate and even to have a rant!

Dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic has been a ‘hot topic’ of discussion over the last year and members have found this invaluable.

Access to SEN support – a pilot ran successfully from September 2020 – March 2021 in response to members’ request, with a range of options to choose from. Overseen by an experienced SEN professional and associates with their own specialisms in a range of fields: communication, behaviour, speech, and language.

SEN support options continue into the year ahead (separate fees apply).

Access to other associates and tried and tested EY suppliers of goods and services – a directory is maintained of those recommended by members and shared with the group.

The provision of regular updates by the facilitator via email, on changes to legislation, news, blogs, articles, and information from the sector, or relevant to managing and/or running a business effectively.

Less isolation – it can be very lonely running a business or managing a setting so coming together with others in similar positions, provides support and gives a sense of ‘community’ – so valuable particularly during difficult times.

New members have joined over time and have been welcomed into the trusted group.

Regular reviews of training needs and current topics of interest – this has been ongoing since conception of the group and convened by the facilitator.

A free initial meeting to get a feel for the group and to see if it right for you (no obligation to join).

Key features for the year ahead:

Flexible facilitation – meetings have been as and when required by the group but are at least once a month at present, via Zoom.

It is expected that there may be the occasional face-to-face meeting when Covid measures ease, but this will be a group decision.

There is a set annual network membership fee covering the core services – but new members can join at any time within the year (pro-rata fee calculated). A payment plan can be requested, if required.

Download the information on what membership covers and the fees payable from the Resource Centre.

A pilot of ‘Peer Support Sessions’ (for Leadership and Management Development) – commenced in April 2021 at a reduced rate (separate fees apply) and there are further developments underway to help meet members’ needs.

Potential opportunities to access additional paid for services (pick-and-mix) – SEN support, and Leadership and Management Development (Peer Support Sessions), as already mentioned.

Additional facilitation of services will be considered depending on members ongoing needs. These may include the following: basic awareness training for new staff, Health & Safety, First Aid, Safeguarding, further Leadership & Management Development options and Coaching & Mentoring.

Other services may be considered on request (numbers permitting).

All needs of members will be considered – needs change over time – we will listen and aim to provide.


£330.00 for annual membership (April 2021 – March 2022) but a pro-rata amount will be calculated for members wishing to join throughout the year.

Next Steps

Please book to attend the next networking meeting as a guest (free of charge) by completing the contact form below AND providing name(s) of those wishing to attend and their role, organisation, and email contact.

More information can be found, including fees charged (and what is provided) as well as the Memorandum of Understanding of the group, here within the Resource Centre.

Alternatively, please email Debra McAndrew on the email address listed below with all the details mentioned above or telephone to have an informal discussion.

Email: debra@striveservices.co.uk
Tel: 07470 235 250

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