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?
All branch events are listed on the Early Education website and bookings are taken through our online booking system. This means branches do not have to handle bookings or payments themselves.
The local committee will need to:
- arrange a programme of meetings including booking speakers (with support from head office if required)
- liaise with speakers in advance and on the day eg agreeing the speaker’s fee (if applicable), hosting the speaker (if in person) or liaising over online meeting arrangements, arranging payment of the speaker
- arranging venue and refreshments (if appropriate)
- send details of the meetings to the Early Education office for inclusion on the website and booking system
- promote through any local contacts (eg the local authority, school networks, etc) and their own social media channels if appropriate
- liaise with head office over income and expenditure, and ensure branch funds are used appropriately
- hold regular committee meetings and an AGM.
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. Head office can often help secure speakers, for instance one of our Associates or a Vice President.
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.