It has been a difficult couple of weeks since I received the devastating news that NEyTCO was unable to continue trading for the reasons that have been explained in Catriona’s statement. What has been the most difficult part for me has been not being able to respond to member’s queries regarding their annual and monthly renewals and not being able to respond and process the many applications that we have received from potential new members due to the need for confidentiality.

Some of you will know that in 2016 I took the decision to restructure my Virtual Assistant Company, so I could focus solely on serving the Early Years and Education sector, as over my years of experience working with Laura Henry and subsequently other trainers and consultants, I felt like this was one area I could make a real difference. Working with Laura also allowed me to be a part of the formation of NEyTCO, helping with the organising and attending the initial meetings, carrying out the first survey and listening to the passion and conviction of those present. The more I became involved in this special world, the more inspired I became and the more I wanted to do my bit to ‘make a difference’.

It is true, that NEyTCO was not in good shape when I started working with Catriona in July 2017 following the conference, but both of us, have worked hard to try and make the organisation feasible, we have grown the membership, connecting with old members, meeting new trainers and consultants and promoting the initial vision of the need for this kind of organisation within the sector, but sadly it has not been enough.

Following the initial shock of the news, I thought long and hard and have decided that the new Twitter Chat, EY Matters, I started a few weeks ago modelled on Laura Henry’s EY Talking, could perhaps be utilised for the Early Years Professionals to continue connecting and collaborating. With this in mind, I have formed a new company EY Matters Ltd and am currently working on a new website for this purpose. I do not want to lose the sense of community that has been building over the past months between the NEyTCO Members and other individuals, companies and areas within the sector.

So, with the support of my assistant Kinga, we are building an Events Diary, Shop and Directory on this new website and we will continue to send out the newsletters I had introduced while working for NEyTCO, so we can share and promote the quality services, available opportunities and the weekly round-up of sector news. I must stress that this is not going to be a Membership site or body, but my aim is to grow the networking, connecting and where possible collaboration, providing ‘the go to’ place to find reliable, quality services, training and events, to help the sector to work together to support each other and a place where all Early Years Professionals can connect.

It is still early days at this point and we are working hard to get all the features in place, but our priority will be to add the ‘existing’ NEyTCO Members to the directory, showcasing their services, add in their products to the shop and their events to the calendar. I will of course be in touch with you to gain your permission to do so.

I will also continue to support the Ofsted Big Conversation, keeping the website updated adding on the meetings and minutes and responding to queries and questions received, and I hope, attending as many of the regional meetings as possible.

I can only finish by adding my thanks to Catriona, for the opportunity she provided me to work with NEyTCO and all that I have learned from her, to all of you who have supported me and helped me learn more about this amazing sector and the even more amazing people who work in it, and most of all to express how much this all means to me, how I cannot just walk away and how it is my heartfelt wish to continue to work with and support you all.

Juliette Davies.

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