Who is this network for?

This network is a small and proactive group of Early Years (EY) professionals that was established in 2016. Members are EY business owners/managers, and directors or group managers of nurseries and pre-schools. The Network is known as HEN (Hampshire EY Network).

Their aim is to come together to share ideas, expertise, and experiences as well as establishing any training needs for teams.

Members 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.

A new ‘spin-off’ network is due to start from April 2022, by request of current members of this network (owners/managers and directors or group managers) to support employed managers of settings. Please see ‘New for 2022 – Strive Early Years Managers Network’.

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.

Since then, these have continued with a more flexible approach (separate fees apply) and with a focus in the year ahead on tailor-made support to meet the needs of individual settings or groups of settings.

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 will be the occasional face-to-face meeting in the year ahead, 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 – please note fees will be the same at £330 for the year from April 2022 – March 2023.

Peer Support Sessions (for Leadership and Management Development) – a pilot commenced in April 2021, and these have run successfully since then. New offer available from March 2022 to the end of the year.

Potential opportunities to access additional paid for services (pick-and-mix) 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 continuing for year from April 2022 – March 2023 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 AND providing name(s) of those wishing to attend and their role, organisation, and email contact.

Download the PDFs at the Resource Centre for more concise information on the EY Networks fees and what membership covers as well as the Memorandum of Understanding.

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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