The Early Years Blog

It was an interesting start to a short week. A Tuesday morning visit from Jeremy Corbyn. It may sound a bit grandiose when I say that I have met two previous leaders during an election campaign, both of whom became Prime Ministers. I don't know what this means for Mr Corbyn! His visit resulted in...

A previous election manifesto addition was to promise parents 30 hours of free childcare. This is an annual increase from 570 to 1140 hours, whether 30 hours term time or 22 hours stretched across 51 weeks of the year. If you are one of the many parents struggling to pay for childcare, "free" is an overstatement...

The election fever has begun. Well, less of a fever and more of a virus at the moment. The manifesto writers are busy locked in a darkened room trying to shape their political parties' ideas and offers. According to the media and political pundits the main subject of the election is Brexit but a general...

Like many of you, we spent a fair few hours on the motorway en route to the country for the Easter Weekend. It's a time to catch up on playing forgotten, new or favourite music. However, our car has a CD system known as Touchy that decides what it wants to play. If Touchy dislikes the CD she refuses...

In 2005, three LEYF nurseries were involved in the Edgeware Road bombings. I still remember it but the strongest memories that stay with me were of the kindness of people, the concern of parents bringing food and blankets for the staff who stayed late into the night and the letter I received from Ken...

Last week, I spent a morning with staff from two nurseries talking about pedagogy. Kindness and what it means was central to the discussion on social and emotional wellbeing. It's quite the topic of the month with the Duchess of Cambridge saying it was more important to be kind and compassionate than...

I recently read a piece about the growth of artificial intelligence and the impact it will have on existing jobs, whether the driverless car or the extension of computer controlled decision-making. I can't understand the rush into such an inhumane world.  Why do we want more automated services, more...

A social enterprise's most valuable asset is hope It's hard to get a feel of what is going on with the government at the moment. Communication is muffled and it feels like we are watching a foreign psychological thriller without the subtitles. The Prime Minister has said some great things about...

We began the year of 2017 with the sad news of the second untimely death of another of our much loved young staff members. Telling the organisation about his death was my first duty of 2017 and it quickly put things into perspective. It also made me realise the power of the workplace community and how...

I was back at City Hall on Friday for a roundtable, led by Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, Joanne McCartney, to examine how we do more to address London's Childcare Challenge, something I have already written about. Right now I think London's childcare and education sector is lucky that...