About Us

Early Years Success Consultancy provides solutions to problems for early years settings and childminders and guides you through everything you need to know in order to deliver a high quality service and be prepared for your Ofsted registration and inspection. Whether you are an established setting or a new business looking to develop and grow, we can help your business to fly high.

Meet the Consultant

Hilary Preece, BA (Hons)


Hilary is an experienced and successful early years professional having worked in the early years sector for 20 years, including over 14 years as an Early Years Inspector with Ofsted and Prospects. This places her in a unique position to help providers prepare for their Ofsted inspection and deliver high quality practice. She has particular expertise in self-evaluation in the early years. Read what some of her clients say below.

Hilary has also worked in Children’s Centres as an Early Years Teaching Advisor supporting early years settings to deliver the EYFS and improve quality. She has a 1st class BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies as well as being a qualified NVQ Assessor. She would be delighted to share her knowledge and expertise with you.

Hilary is a member of NEYTCO (National Early Years Trainers & Consultants Organisation) and an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Consulting. In 2016 she became the first early years consultant to receive a Level 5 award in Professional Consulting Skills. http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/other/1158504/interview-hilary-preece

Our Location

Based in Hertfordshire, we travel across the Home Counties, London, Midlands, East and South East England. Other areas may be negotiable.


‘Following your mock inspections we have made excellent use of your support, and your reports have demonstrated strengths to all the staff and clearly defined the areas that we need to work on.  Thank you.’ Roz Lambert, First Steps Bath (May 2017)

‘Using Hilary Preece from Early Years Success was one of the best decisions we could have made. Hilary took my staff through every step of the inspection process as if it were a real inspection; she scrutinised our paperwork and questioned staff on their knowledge and processes, giving suggestions for improvement and praise for good practice as she went along. By the end of the day everyone knew what to expect when the actual inspection happened and felt very confident that their practice was good enough to be judged as outstanding. As a result we are delighted to say we have maintained our outstanding judgement. Our inspection was a very positive experience and a real validation of the work we do in the nursery.’ Nursery manager – name supplied on request (March 2016)

‘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, Jo Bright Training & Consultancy (March 2016)

‘Hilary has accompanied us as our “critical friend” throughout our journey of improvement. Invaluable to this is her sensitivity and ability to respond to our exact needs, first helping to enthuse and then motivate us to move forward as a team. Some of her qualities are that she is able to adapt to and prioritise our changing requirements with expert advice and insightfulness, setting the foundations for us to go from strength to strength. Practitioners report that she is a good listener and is prepared to work with them rather than simply dictate what to do. In less than six months she helped our nursery to go from “inadequate” to “good” – this in itself is testimony to Hilary’s outstanding success!’ CF, Acorn Day Nursery 

‘The service we received was outstanding. Hilary conducted a thorough mock inspection in our setting, which helped to prepare the management, staff and children for the real thing. I found Hilary to be friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable. Her expertise was evident throughout the pre-inspection process. Her advice on our self-evaluation and policies was invaluable. She precisely identified priorities to inform our action plan, and her recommendations were easy to follow. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Hilary and gained considerable confidence and knowledge, which enabled me to lead the playgroup through our first Ofsted inspection, where we attained a judgement of Good. We are delighted with this outcome!’ AW. City Gateway – Gateway Tots

‘Thank you very much for your supportive and constructive visit. It was invaluable for those who have not experienced the rigours of inspection to be able to understand and enter the process knowing a positive learning outcome. Your feedback is analytical and productive. We will continue to grow through such support. Thank you.’   RM, Artisans Kindergarten

‘Hilary visited our school to advise us on our preparation for Ofsted. As this is a new school all paperwork was untested. Hilary was delightful company. She is very knowledgeable and conducted a thorough review of all aspects of our setting. As a result we enjoyed a successful Ofsted visit and offer our sincere thanks to her.’   JS, Harpenden Free School

‘Early Years Success was invaluable in the setting up of our new nursery. Hilary was knowledgeable, patient and full of innovative ideas which she was able to pass on without overriding our vision. She proved to be prompt with her feedback and reports. We have engaged more services from Early Years Success and would certainly recommend.’  FK, First Med Enterprise