I’m very glad that we raised No 1 Son in London – he has grown up so confident and capable and nothing really phases him; but I do remember how difficult it was to find a London nursery that was close to our home, offered the hours we needed and most importantly, had the right kind of atmosphere where we were confident our son would be happy. And not working was simply not an option for either of us.
I can remember visiting quite a few different nurseries and being genuinely horrified at how sad the children looked at some of them, how they rushed to the door as soon as we opened it (heartbreaking, they wanted it to be their mummy) and also that facilities were often woefully inadequate and the kids looked, frankly, bored. In the end we opted for a very expensive private nursery – he ended up speaking in a completely different accent to either of his parents, but his manners were (briefly) beautiful.
So I wish I’d known back then about the London Early Years Foundation, which offers socially responsible community nurseries in London, and has been voted UK Nursery Group of the Year in 2014 and 2015 at national nursery awards recognising the best in the childcare industry. They have 38 nurseries across London and as a charity and social enterprise really care about early childhood, childcare and helping families from all backgrounds achieve the best for their under-fives.
The LEYF offers children a range of educational resources, fun activities, and most importantly they believe in giving kids the time and attention they need to flourish; an impressive 96% of parents believe their children are happy at the nurseries, which is quite something.
As a firm believer that one size does not fit all when it comes to childcare and education, I’m also really impressed by the research-based curriculum, which focuses on developing children’s natural curiosity and confidence. The idea is that they “leave nursery as inquisitive explorers who love learning.” How fab is that?
They have put together a little video which explains all about their ethos and how it works. Definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a London nursery.