Become a Trustee

become a trustee

Becoming a Trustee of the Early Years Alliance

We are currently looking for Trustees to serve from 1 March 2020 to 28 Feb 2023 (If you are re-elected, trustees may serve for up to 12 successive years).

The Early Years Alliance is committed to providing the best possible start in life for children by providing services which promote child development and support families. This is achieved through early intervention and family services programmes, advising and representing our members and developing the charity’s own settings in deprived communities. The charity works collaboratively with other organisations, including charities, commercial organisations and statutory agencies, to deliver services and works in partnership where appropriate.

The charity promotes and delivers access to affordable, flexible and high-quality childcare provision. Our childcare settings are established around a core belief that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children and as a result parent forums and parent committees are established to empower parents and give them a greater involvement in the childcare provided.

The Alliance’s members are a vital part of the charity’s structure. The charity encourages active engagement with our campaigning and member support services through member forums at a local and national level.

If you are already an active member of the Early Years Alliance and would be interested in a greater involvement in the charity’s strategic direction over the next three years then the role of Trustee may be right for you.

So why become a Trustee of the Alliance?

  • It's an opportunity to gain experience as a trustee.
  • To share your early years expertise and skills.
  • To gain a greater insight into the charity’s activities.
  • To directly influence the strategic direction of the charity. 
  • To get more involved and advocate on behalf of the charity.

Learn more about the role of a charity trustee.

Or if you have further questions you can call the Alliance’s Information Services team on 0207 697 2595.

The strategic role of the Board of Trustees 

Members of the Board of Trustees are the governing trustees of the charity. The charity’s governing document (Memorandum and Articles of Association) states that:

“The overall management and control of the Charity shall vest in the Board of Trustees as the directors and charity trustees of the Charity.”

It is important that all Trustees understand that:

  • The role of the Board of Trustees is strategic, rather than operational.
  • The Board’s function is to create a policy framework for the work of staff and to oversee the charity's finances.
  • They have responsibilities in law and are accountable for any deficiency in the management and control of the charity. These responsibilities cannot be delegated.
  • The Trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring that there are effective procedures and controls in place and that there is an up-to-date risk management system in place.

The powers and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are set out in Articles 21 and 26 of the Articles of Association

Terms of office 

The election of the individuals to the Board of Trustees will be for a period of three years but members may serve (if re-elected) for up to twelve successive years. 

Time commitment

At least four meetings of the Board of Trustees each year - usually one day meetings, held at a venue in London.

Preparation time before meetings - reading and absorbing the agenda and associated papers.

Attendance at the National Forum and AGM once each year. Trustees will also be invited to the annual conference.

Occasionally consultation of members of the Board by telephone, post and e-mail may be necessary on occasions where a speedy response is required.

Though not obligatory Trustees may be asked to serve on working groups and attend member forums.

Those elected as Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer must be able to give more time.

Support and training for trustees

While being legally responsible for the actions of the charity, the Trustees delegate the operation of the charity to the Chief Executive who is responsible for managing the charity's affairs through the charity's line management structure to national centre departments and to Service Hub offices.

The Chief Executive and other senior staff provide reports, statistics and advice to the Board of Trustees.

A training and induction programme is provided and this will require three additional days of time commitment prior to taking up office.

The election process

There are twelve vacancies for a member to be elected to act as Trustee.

A nomination form is available here and members who wish to act as Trustee, and who meet the eligibility criteria below, will be asked to tell us why they wish to become a Trustee. 

If there are more than twelve nominations from the membership there will be a ballot of members which is carried out via the charity’s Under 5 magazine.

Download a nomination form


All individuals wishing to stand for election must meet the criteria set out in the charity’s Bye Laws and also the legal requirement for all charity trustees as set out below.

Eligibility to act as a Trustee

The charity’s bye laws

A nomination for election as an Elected Trustee needs to be signed by the relevant candidate and must also be seconded by a member who meets the Trustee eligibility criteria and, in the case of Childcare Provider or Family membership, represents a different membership number to that of the nominee. Members cannot second more than one application and applications cannot be seconded by a member who is also a nominee.

For the purposes of eligibility to be elected as a member of the Board of Trustees an individual shall be eligible if:

they are 18 years or older; and

they a Full Individual Member of the Charity; or

they are a member of a family holding Full Family Membership of the Charity; or

they are nominated by a setting that is a Full or Affiliate Childcare Provider Member of the Charity; and

the membership has been in place for a period of at least 12 months prior to the date that the nomination papers are signed.

An individual engaged in paid employment with the Charity is not eligible to be elected as a Trustee.

Legal disqualification

From 1 January 1993 certain people are disqualified - that is, forbidden - from continuing as a trustee, or from becoming a trustee. 

These are people who:

  • have been convicted at any time of any offence involving deception or dishonesty, unless the conviction is legally regarded as spent; or
  • are undischarged bankrupts; or
  • have at any time been removed by the Commissioners or by the court in England, Wales or Scotland from being a trustee because of misconduct; or are disqualified from being company directors; or have failed to make payments under county court administration orders.

Such people can at any time apply to the Commissioners for a waiver which, if granted, will allow them to continue or to begin as trustees after that date.  However, the Commissioners will not grant a waiver lightly, since the purpose of the new provision is to prevent people who have shown financial incompetence or dishonesty in the past from being in control of charitable resources.

Disqualified people do not have to take steps to resign or be removed from their trusteeship, because their trusteeship will have been ended automatically by law.  They should immediately cease to take any further part in the affairs of the charity. 

If they continue to act as trustees they will be committing an offence, for which they could be prosecuted.  They could also be forced to pay back to the charity the value of any benefits they may have received from the charity whilst disqualified.

How to apply to become a Trustee

Download a nomination form

Download an HMRC Fit and Proper persons form 

Return both forms by email to or by post to the Chief Executive, Early Years Alliance, 50 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT

Please return forms no later than Monday 5 August 2019


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