Hilary Preece


Early Years Success

St Albans, England - East of England


I am a well qualified and experienced early years practitioner, inspector and consultant with well over 25 years experience in the sector.

My main expertise is in Ofsted inspection, investigation and regulation of early years settings, having had 14 years experience working for Ofsted and Prospects. Previously, I have worked as a nursery nurse in schools, pre-school assistant, childminder and early years teaching advisor in a children’s centre. This breadth of practical experience has given me the ability to empathise and connect with practitioners, managers and owners at all levels and with all types of early years settings.

I have a 1st class degree in Early Childhood Studies and am a qualified NVQ assessor. I was the first consultant in 2016 to be awarded the Level 5 Award in Professional Consulting Skills under the banner of NEYTCO (National Early Years Trainers & Consultants).

Business Information

I set up my consultancy in 2012 after having worked directly for Ofsted as an Early Years Inspector since 2003.

I continued to work as a freelance inspector for Prospects during the initial years of running my consultancy. My first-hand knowledge of the inspection process has given me the specialist skills and tools to be able to accurately assess quality and identify improvements in a range of early years settings that I work with. I continue to scrutinise changes to the inspection process and new frameworks so that I can advise my clients accurately and meaningfully.

I am based in Hertfordshire and most of my clients are spread across London and the Home Counties. I am willing to consider contracts in other areas of the country if expenses are covered by the client.

Key areas of consultancy work include:

  • carrying out a full range of pre- and post-inspection packages (mock inspections and audits) but with the emphasis on giving clear guidance on how to improve rather than just stating what needs to improve
  • bespoke in-house training and workshops tailored to the needs of the setting (topics include Education Inspection Framework, safeguarding refresher, introduction to schemas, critical thinking, terrific two-year-olds…and more
  • quality improvement support and mentoring for setting managers usually over an agreed period of time.


I met Hilary on a Professional Consultancy Programme through NEYTCO. Hilary's professionalism, knowledge and experience of the early years is exemplary and she shares this with warmth, positivity and high standards ensuring the best outcomes for children and their families. I would strongly recommend her.

Jo Bright - Early Years Consultant - Jo Bright Training & Consultancy

We very highly recommend Hilary Preece of Early Years Success. Hilary is very professional and knowledgeable. Her training courses are excellent and we have benefited greatly from her counsel.

Yetunde Kwabwe - Nursery Owner - The Little Academy, Harrow

Hilary is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about early years. She is very professional and supportive to providers which helps them to continually improve. This in turn benefits children in their ongoing learning and development. Hilary keeps her own professional development up to date and willingly shares new ideas and good practice.

Maura Pigram - Early Years Regulatory Inspector Ofsted


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