Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said this week that he will invest £150,000 in a new scheme to assist London’s overburdened nurseries and childminders.
Strong Early Years London will be delivered in collaboration with the Early Years Alliance and CEEDA to provide business support to London’s nurseries and childminders and to develop a sector-specific one-stop-shop on the London Business Hub.
It comes after the Mayor’s research earlier this year revealed that early years providers across the city will struggle to make ends meet this year. According to the survey, 64% of nurseries and 56% of childminders believe their services are at risk of closure or will be closed within the next 12 months, with those in disadvantaged regions more likely to classify themselves as ‘struggling’.
London’s early years sector is critical to supporting the capital’s children and working parents, and it will be critical to the capital’s economic and social revival.
The Strong Early Years London programme will assist nurseries and childminders in receiving business support information, advice, and guidance, as well as providing intensive support to those in most need, with an emphasis on sustainability and growth.
The programme builds on previous efforts to support the early years sector, such as raising awareness of and encouraging participation in free early education for two-year-olds, funding the establishment of Early Years Hubs in some of London’s most deprived areas, investing in leadership and business skills through the Mayor’s Early Years Leaders Programme, and launching Healthy Early Years initiatives across the city.
The Mayor also continues to urge the government to provide long-term funding for these critical services.
“That’s why I’m proud to be working with the Early Years Alliance and CEEDA to give nurseries and childminders across the capital the support they need to continue their life-changing work. By investing in London’s early years education sector, I’m investing in our social and economic recovery, and in our future as a city, and urge the Government to do the same.”