What we do..

PSN seeks to provide a service offering guidance and support that initially covers the following themes, and will expand over time to meet the changing needs of the sector:

  • Providing Governance Training & Support – Vital for ensuring continued Committee support and giving the Chairs, Treasurers, and Secretary positions a full understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and potential liabilities, in a structured framework that encourages participation with a feeling of security. We would also assist with ensuring documents that provide the structure of the organisation are fit for purpose. Crucial items such as a constitution should be treated as a living document that adapts to provide a core element of governance, and not merely something downloaded from the internet and filed.
  • Encourage Committee Volunteering, or help groups form new businesses that are more sustainable – Committees and parental involvement is hugely important for carrying forward a collective vision for a pre-school setting. It can however be difficult to get volunteers on board, and one of PSN’s goals is to create a package of measures and hands on support to give confidence to volunteers and ensure their support. It may also be that a setting may wish to change how it operates as a business, to a limited company, charity, CIC or CIO. We are building information and support packages for each scenario tailored to the unique needs of the sector, that can sometimes be misunderstood by regular business support services.
  • Business and promotional support – General business support in terms of employment issues whether they be positive or negative, and assistance with getting the word out about your business, by providing advice on making the best use of branding, the web, and social media to promote settings.
  • Assistance with Charity Commission registration – Sometimes becoming a charity under the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland can be of great benefit, however sometimes it isn’t necessarily the best fit as pre-school settings are essentially service businesses, not charities in the pure sense despite providing a public service. PSN is working with CCNI to find the best fit and best advice for pre-school settings to help any group moving toward registration.
  • A unified voice for the pre-school sector – PSN will seek to provide an effective lobbying voice to give Government departments a better understanding of needs ‘on the ground’. Policies and procedures, however well intended to progress early years provision in Northern Ireland, simply can’t be done in isolation from those people who are expected to carry them out. There needs to be better communication of the pressures the sector faces and collaborative solutions put in place moving forward. PSN intends to be the rallying point for owners, committees, and staff of pre-school settings to let their voice be heard.

As well as the support mentioned above we have a number of other on-line initiatives to provide support and bring pre-school practitioners together no matter where they may be based in the province. We are starting this with our Facebook Communities which officially open in early 2018. While meeting up in the real world to share stories and ideas is something we will be arranging for Network clients, not everyone can make it along. On-line however questions, advice, and more is just a click away. PSN is initially offering two dedicated and private Facebook Communities, ‘Play & Share‘ and ‘Learn & Share‘.

PSN – Play & Share‘ is a Pre-school Support Network private members only Facebook Group. Play & Share is a space for groups to request, share, and sell equipment to other members. Not every one has access to everything especially in times when finance can be tight, so the group gives an opportunity for settings to pool equipment confident the items have come from a good home.

Visit the group at the link below, click ‘Join’ and message our FB Page @preschoolsupportnetwork with your PSN Client number to gain access.

Our PSN – Learn & Share Group is designed to promote sharing of good practice, innovative play, tips, tricks and learning between Nursery and Pre-school settings. Networking meet ups are invaluable in getting to know colleagues and making new friends all working in the sector. This on-line group will add to upcoming meetings by mirroring those benefits and making them available from your smartphone, iPad, or desktop PC.

Visit the group at the link below, click ‘Join’ and message our FB Page @preschoolsupportnetwork with your PSN Client number to gain access.

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