Early years support in London

Early years support in London
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Posted: Tue 2nd Jan 2024

London's early years sector is vital. It supports children's development and future success, as well as underpinning the economy by allowing parents – especially women – to work.

As it prepares to deliver the government's extended early years entitlements from April 2024, the sector is facing a number of challenges, including a nationwide shortage of practitioners.

Support for London's early years sector

Explore practical resources, support and guidance for new and established early years providers, including childminders, across London.

Early years associations and support organisations

  • The Early Years Alliance is an early years membership organisation representing nurseries, pre-schools and childminders across England.

    It offers business advice, financial forecasting, curriculum support and acclaimed training schemes. It campaigns at national and regional level to influence early years policy and practice.

  • PACEY is the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and provides training, expert advice, help and peer support to practitioners, as well as impartial support and information for families and carers and those advising them.

    Business Smart is PACEY's free online resource for your new or established childcare business. Training and continuous professional development is available on a wide range of topics.

  • National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is the leading national charity and membership association supporting nurseries, early years settings and their workforce in England, Scotland, Wales and internationally.

    NDNA offers an extensive selection of continuing professional development courses for practitioners and leaders, pre-written policy and procedure templates, expert advice, exclusive discounts with nursery suppliers and a strong voice through campaigns and lobbying.

  • London boroughs offer support and provide a range of resources and training for local early years provisions. Contact your local council to find support in your borough.

Strong Early Years London

The Mayor's Strong Early Years London (SEYL) programme offered business support to London's early years sector to assist its recovery after the pandemic. It was delivered by the Early Years Alliance, in partnership with Ceeda, between May 2021 and March 2022.

Early years providers can still access a range of specialist resources created through SEYL:

  • Identify ways to get the message about your services out to parents and carers with this guide to digital marketing.

  • The decision to close a provision is complex and difficult. These guides on closing a charity setting or childcare business can help you understand what's involved.

  • This free business health check tool for childminders can help you identify what you're doing well, as well as areas in which you could make changes.

Webinar archive

The Early Years Alliance delivered a series of webinars between May 2021 and March 2022 as part of SEYL. Here are three relevant webinars you can access now.

  • Successful Budgeting: An Introduction to the Strong Early Years London Budget Toolkit and Support (December 2021)

    SEYL has developed an accessible and engaging spreadsheet tool that can help managers forecast their income and expenditure to enhance their setting's financial performance.

    The toolkit's developers have drawn on years of experience in nursery and pre-school budget planning to develop an easy system that can be applied to sessional and full-day care provision and incorporates all potential income streams. Watch now

  • Staff Morale & Motivation (October 2021)

    Delivered by Anna Golawski, leading mental health trainer at Stratus Coaching, and Michael Freeston of the Early Years Alliance, this webinar looks at what affects staff morale and motivation and provides useful tips on team building and boosting staff morale and motivation in the workplace. Watch now

  • Effective Staff Recruitment & Retention (July 2021)

    June O'Sullivan, Chief Executive of the London Early Years Foundation, and Michael Freeston of the Early Years Alliance hear from members of the early years sector who share success stories as well as experiences and anxieties around recruiting, training and progressing their teams. Watch now


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