The Early Years Blog

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...

Earlier this month, the US electorate put two fingers up to the neoliberal establishment and voted in Donald Trump to be the next president of the USA. While I, along with many others, watched in silent fascination as this was played out, I was also preparing to meet two politicians who may have a greater...

Every year during the November Global Enterprise Fortnight we host the Margaret Horn Debate to celebrate Social Enterprise Day. Margaret Horn was the first director of the charity that in 2008 become the social enterprise London Early Years Foundation (LEYF). I know very little about her, (despite our...

Were you a member of the local Wimmin's Group? Ha, you laugh, what was all that about? What did we want: a job, a career, a voice, free childcare, equal pay? Well, this week I attended a number of events about the same issues but with a 21st century twist. I was a guest at the @ForwardLadies awards...

Dear Parents, Do you know that your childcare could be in jeopardy? Why? Because a decision made in 2014 by the then minister for childcare is having a detrimental effect on recruitment? She required all childcare students and apprentices to have a GCSE Level A to C in English and Maths in order to...

Just when you think that you are beginning to open people's eyes and ears as to the benefits of having men working in childcare settings, along comes the ill- informed and ignorant commentators. This time, and most worryingly from Andrea Leadsom; a woman who thought she could be Prime Minister on the...