About EYFS Resources

About the EYA - Early Years Association

Your Early Years Support Team

EYFS Resources has carefully crafted a group of leading practitioners in early years products and business support, accountancy, training, administration, nutrition, design, health and safety. 

These people are an extension of your company and are here to help with all aspects of EYFS for childminders and nurseries.  With the convenience of being just a click or phone call away, meet your team, each with their own area of expertise gained from actually rolling their sleeves up and doing the job.  Ask for the help of each one with confidence.

Want to lead the practice in early years settings?  Have questions on early years products and business support?  Not quite sure who would make your best partner on your EYFS journey?  Don’t be shy, just ask!

A Broad Brush History


Maria Marraffa becomes a registered childminder and opens her first childminding early years setting, and is awarded ‘outstanding‘ in all areas within just six months of practice.


To improve her professional practice Maria Marraffa became one of the first Early Years Professionals (EYP).


A founder of an EYP Network, a support resource, meeting regularly to discuss publications, research and share best practice.


Maria is awarded ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted, for the second time in three years.

Maria becomes an EYP Buddy/Mentor for the CWDC (Childrens Workforce Development Council) and features on its website.

Author of many articles for the childcare element of ‘Practical Pre-School.’

Maria becomes a ‘Champion Childminder’ for the NCMA (now PACEY.)


Author of ‘Ofsted Inspections – How to be outstanding.’

Maria joins a leading educational training provider and is appointed Senior Mentor for graduates on the Early Years Professional Status Programme.


Support and resources start to be shared with an on-line community in response to requests.


To realise the aspirations of early years settings, Maria travels around the country giving face-to-face support and advice.


Launch of EYFS Resources website.

And the story continues with you…
Take a look at EYFS Services or browse the shop to see how best we can help you with EYFS products and business support.

Our Team

Maria Marraffa
Founder and CEOMaria Marraffa

All Things Early Years Including Inspection

Maria Marraffa is a dedicated early years professional or early years teacher (EYP and EYT) becoming one of the first people to gain the status, and operate an outstanding rated childcare business. She was widely recognised for leading the practice in early years settings, writing for periodicals and offering peer support.

As an Ofsted Registered ‘Outstanding’ Childminder (2006 and 2009) Maria was invited to become a ‘Champion Childminder’ for the National Childminder Association (Now Pacey), which enabled her to continue supporting fellow childminders in their role as early years practitioners.

In 2009 she was approached by the CWDC (Children’s Workforce and Development Council) to become an ‘EYP Buddy’, starring in an online video which reached out to early years professionals across the UK.

By 2010, Maria joined a leading early years management and teaching company, taking on the roles of Senior Mentor to EYP candidates, as well as Supervising Tutor. These positions saw her travelling throughout England to offer mentor support and tutor guidance on all aspects of the EYP/EYT graduate programme.
Maria’s knowledge and outstanding skills have been instrumental in bringing to the fore her ideas on how to make things easy, accessible and affordable for every childminder, nursery and pre-school in the field, a true pioneer of early years provider resources. An MA graduate, she oversees the whole of EYFS Resources, steering the products, advice and culture. She is driven in all of her practice by her core beliefs of accessibility, originality and ethics.

Now living in the North West with her family, Maria enjoys playing football with her son, encouraging her daughter in her amateur dramatics and gymnastic endeavours, and learning about ‘core business values’ from her partner, Terence.

She is here to help you with all things EYP from training, to employment, to company structure, philosophy and practice; inspection is her speciality. Her support for your business is derived not from a manual but years on the ‘shop floor’ where she reached ‘outstanding’ levels of practice. Her listening ear is always open to you.
Maureen Askew
Early Years ConsultantMaureen Askew

Award winning Early Years Consultant no less!

With over thirty years childcare experience in all sectors on the market, Maureen is a highly-qualified, experienced and utterly professional early years consultant.  With her, you’ll be able to work in the spirit of Goodall, in that ‘what you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.’  Together that ‘difference’ will be immense.

  • Maureen’s credentials are extensive:
  • Member of the Chartered Management Institute
  • Member of the Institute of Consulting
  • 2013 4Children Business Champion
  • Accredited Growth Vouchers advisor
  • Business mentor for the British Chambers of Commerce and Community & Business Partners
  • Volunteer on Pre-school Learning Alliance Lancashire County Committee
  • Volunteer for Institute Of Consulting North West region
However, despite all of the certificates and positions in key organisations what really describes Maureen is her ‘hands-on’ humanity.  Her early years experience has been gained from actually ‘doing’ all manner or roles, and doing them well.  From the private to the voluntary and independent sectors to national childcare organisations and local authorities, Maureen has seen them all.  Her holistic support will centre around you and identify your unique needs; no two early years consultant packages are the same.  Not only that, the appointments will be arranged at your convenience, morning, evening, weekend, daytime – no problem.

Even though Maureen sights ‘work’ as one of her passions, she does have other pleasures.  As Vice-Chair of Trawden Garden Festival and Scarecrow Trail, she has helped to beautify and celebrate her home village for over six years.  Reading, learning new things and relaxing with her family occupy the remainder of her time.

Using Maureen’s early years consultancy and business services will undoubtedly be an investment in your business that will provide an excellent rate of return.  Amongst the areas of expertise that she will support you with are:
  • Business planning
  • Occupancy projection
  • Planning for 2-year-olds
  • Fee strategies and projections
  • Business health check
  • KPIs
  • Implementing government policy and initiatives
  • Business training
  • Grants and funding applications
  • Financial planning, ratios and cash flow
  • Implementing government funding
  • Leadership, management and change issues
  • Software guidance
  • Administration
  • Policies and procedures
  • Marketing, social media and market research
  • Recruitment and personnel management
  • Training and development of employees, including CPD
  • Business mentoring and coaching of individuals and teams
  • Childcare start-ups and registration support
Often, you can really tell how a person works best when they are put in a difficult situation. Maureen will be your ally through the ‘ups’ but especially the ‘downs.’  This spirit is epitomised in this story told by an early years practitioner:

Maureen assisted me when I was having problems with (the) committee at the Community Centre from which I operated the pre-school.  She attended an evening meeting with me and was an excellent person to have on my side.  She spoke up (for) me and was able to change of views of the committee to make them more accommodating with the guidelines of Ofsted, which in the past they had objected to.  She also assisted me in gaining funding to purchase some essential equipment for the pre-school.  I would have no hesitation in recommending Maureen.
Got an issue Maureen could help you with?  Don’t be shy, get in touch!
Paul Aisthorpe
Business and Coaching AssociatePaul Aisthorpe

Leading the practice in early years settings

Our business and coaching associate is Paul Aisthorpe.  He specialises in supporting medium-sized businesses. Working quietly behind the scenes on EYFS Resources he is seen a ‘can do’ person.  This quality has spilled into every role he has undertaken, from shift working to a director.  His aim is to be a ‘can do’ person for you.  

Starting in retail and commercial banking, his career path took him to hospitality and catering, and finally being one of the first to use, and ultimately reside in, business coaching.  In these fields, he has always been fascinated by the concepts of leadership, goal planning, business mechanics, and addressing the needs of both customer and employee.  

Paul has studied knowledge and best practice from a wealth of industries including the childcare sector.  This has led him to work with EYPs to ensure that they are leading the practice in early years settings.  In addition, he is a member of the local chamber of commerce and is also a student mentor at Lancaster University.

Outside of working his other passions (amongst many) are rugby league and the Huddersfield Giants – not surprisingly a teamwork pastime.  However, when not donning his thermals to watch a game, keep fit and worldwide travel keep him busy.

Paul can often bring grant funding along as part of his support to you; so his work could sometimes cost very little or even nothing.  Who wouldn’t want great advice, information and support on such terms?

For our larger and corporate clients Paul offers:

  • Business Start-Up advice
  • Business health checks
  • Growth planning
  • Financial planning and management
  • Budgeting
  • Cash forecasting and flows
  • Costings, fees, and related headcount levels
  • Funding sources and application
  • Recruitment and induction
  • Training analysis, delivery and continuous professional development (CDP)
  • Human resources (HR)
  • Business coaching
  • Setting key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Business strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threat assessment (SWOT)
  • Market research and competitor assessment
  • Marketing and unique selling points (USPs)
Got an issue Paul could help you with?  Don’t be shy, get in touch!
Dean Williams
Health and Safety ConsultantDean Williams

Demystifying the world of health and safety

Dean is our guy in health and safety.  An experienced consultant and family man, his aim is to demystify the safety world and create safe early years environments.  With him in your team ‘outstanding‘ in related training, advice, policy and mentoring are just a click away.  Take the stress out of health and safety; know your COSHH from your RIDDOR; have a chat with Dean.

Is health and safety an impenetrable jungle?

Full of words, white papers, regulation and amendments that are hard to fathom, when all you want to do is make sure that you’re changing a nappy in the most hygienic and safest way possible? Well, struggle no more with Dean’s support. With a successful background in quality management and safety, Dean established his business to provide a ‘human’ approach.  Recognising that a good grasp of this aspect of business was essential, but often delivered ‘dry’, he set off to make health and safety human, easily understandable and believe it or not…fun.

Armed with his passion for comedy clubs Dean can make the barriers fall away from safety and allow all early years professionals to adopt processes and policies with ease.

When not found in a dimly lit comedy club Dean enjoys golf, photography and reading about cognition and behaviour.  The last of these hobbies might prove useful in the world of children’s education.  However, as a master of many skills Dean is happy to help you with:
  • Training on matters such as manual handling, COSHH, risk assessment, fire, electricity and display screen equipment
  • Flexible workshops
  • The development of policy, procedure and risk assessment
  • Implementation of health and safety policy, procedures, practice and culture
  • Specific health and safety early years matters that are particular to your business
  • Quality management systems
  • Incident reporting and RIDDOR
  • Continuing professional development
  • Mentoring
He’ll throw the psychology in for free!
Got an issue Dean could help you with?  Don’t be shy, get in touch!

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