New Alliance publication provides practical advice on how to run a setting that thrives

The Early Years Alliance is to publish a new book providing guidance on the steps early years leaders and managers can take to achieve a sustainable and thriving provision.  

Drawing on robust management tools, Operating a Viable Early Years Provision focuses on the development of a series of processes to support leaders and managers to take stock of the current position and lays out important planning steps for managers, owners, directors and trustees.

Spanning four chapters, the book offers practical guidance on the importance of becoming a values-led organisation, improving planning and decision making and provides useful templates and tools.  In chapter one, readers will find an easy to follow guide of leadership and management tools, setting out the crucial information and planning steps anyone in a leadership position needs to think about.

The second chapter looks more closely at key financial management processes. This chapter stresses the importance of gathering the right financial information and how it can inform strategic and operational decisions and provides an overview of key concepts, including break-even analysis, pricing structures and forecasts.

Chapter three looks at the essential marketing and communications strategies that successful settings are already adopting. The chapter provides practical guidance on how to get the most return on investment in low-cost or free marketing, publicity in the press and other communications activities.

One of the most important aspects of remaining financially sustainable is delivering a high quality service. The final chapter looks at how quality has become a crucial element of ongoing viability and provides advice on how to communicate and deliver a quality vision, support children’s home learning environments and – crucially – measure the impact of strategies.

A special 20% discount is available for purchases from the Alliance shop made by 30 September. Operating a Viable Early Years Provision is available for Alliance members: £13.65 and to non-members for £19.50, by quoting VIA919.

The book can be purchased from the Alliance online shop here:

Nathan Archer, the author of Operating a Viable Early Years Provision, said:

“Leading and managing a setting is an incredibly demanding job itself, particularly when delivering high quality services without sufficient funding. However, it is just as important for settings to work on their organisation in a strategic sense, as it is in an operational way.

“It is hoped that however a leader’s background or strengths are aligned, the tools and guidance in this book which support sustainability will take some of the pressure away from the concerns of viability experienced by many settings.”



About the Author
Nathan Archer, is a trained early childhood and Primary Montessori teacher. Nathan has worked across the sector, in both settings and at a national level. He has also worked in programme management, funding, policy development, communications and grant capture. He is currently a  Doctoral Researcher at the University of Sheffield, researching agency and activism in Early Childhood Education.

About the Alliance

  • The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
  • The Alliance represents 14,000 members and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.