We welcome proposals to establish new branches. Here are some suggested steps to consider when setting up a branch:
What is the nature of local demand for local branch events?
You might want to consider:
- Are there many Early Education members in the area already? You can contact the Early Education office for information about this.
- What other CPD is available locally eg from the local authority, teaching schools, colleges/universities, etc? How close are other Early Education branches?
- Any other existing local networks?
- Who is most likely to be interested – staff from local schools or settings, or childminders – and are they likely to prefer twilight sessions, evenings or Saturday mornings?
Do you have a team of willing volunteers ready to take on the role of running the branch?
The local committee will need to:
- Find venues
- Arrange a programme of meetings including booking speakers and venues
- There is an expectation of regular meetings and an AGM.
- Send details of the meetings to the Early Education office, and circulated through any local contacts (eg the local authority, school networks, etc)
- Handle event arrangements in advance and on the day eg compiling attendee lists, taking payments, hosting the speaker, arranging payment of the speaker and/or venue (if appropriate), arranging refreshments (if appropriate)
- Set up a bank account and keep appropriate financial records of income and expenditure, and report these annually to the Early Education office
Hold a pilot event
We recommend holding an event to gauge the level of potential interest and drum up volunteers for the committee. Inviting a speaker will give a flavour of what to expect if the branch runs regular meetings in future.
Sign up members
If there’s potential interest in the group, encourage individuals and organisations to sign up to Early Education membership to get some buy-in to continued involvement. Branches receive an annual rebate based on the number of members signed up to their branch, so boosting membership gives the branch a pot of funding to support its events, which can then be cheaper, or free, for members.
Plan a programme
If you decide to go ahead, if possible plan and advertise a programme of events for the year to get the dates into people’s diaries and give yourselves lots of time to build interest and awareness of the group.
Promote the branch
Work with the Early Education office on promotion – we can help with social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Use any local networks to promote the branch's activities, eg via the local authority.
For more details on the running of a branch, see next section.