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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that he is investing £150,000 in a new programme to support London’s under pressure nurseries and childminders. 

 Strong Early Years London will be delivered in partnership with Early Years Alliance and CEEDA to provide London’s nurseries and childminders with business support and to create a sector-specific one-stop-shop on the London Business Hub. 

It comes after research published by the Mayor earlier this year found that early years providers across the capital will struggle to survive the year. The report found that 64 per cent of nurseries and 56 per cent of childminders  consider their services to be at immediate risk of closure or to be facing potential closure in the next 12 months – with those in disadvantaged areas more likely to class themselves as ‘struggling’. 

 London’s early years sector plays a vital role in supporting the capital’s children and working parents, and will play a crucial role in supporting the capital’s economic and social recovery. 

 The Strong Early Years London programme will help nurseries and childminders get business support information, advice and guidance, and provide intensive support to those most in need with a focus on sustainability and growth.  


The programme builds on previous work to support the early years sector, including raising awareness and encouraging take-up of free early education for two-year olds, funding the opening 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 call on the Government to support these vital services with long term funding.  


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s early years sector is a lifeline for so many families, providing their children with high-quality education and care and giving them the best possible start in life. But these nurseries and childminders have been hit hard by the pandemic, and many are facing a battle to survive.  

 “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.” 


Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said: “With the combined impact of the COVID-19 crisis and years of government underfunding placing a huge practical and financial strain on many early education and care providers, this investment into London’s early years sector is now both much-needed and hugely welcome. 


“Since the start of the pandemic, early years businesses have been forced to fight for every bit of support they have received, and there is no doubt that this has taken its toll on the mental health and wellbeing of the early years workforce. That’s why we are so pleased to be working with the Mayor to deliver this innovative programme, which will empower early years business leaders to return their settings to a firmer footing as we move out of lockdown and towards recovery. 

 “We know that COVID-19 restrictions have had a significant impact on the learning, development and wellbeing of young children. It is vital, therefore, that early years provision in London can remain open for business and continue delivering the high-quality care and education that children and families need and deserve. The business support, training and tailored interventions that this programme offers will play a huge role in ensuring they are able to do so.” 

Photo by Policy Exchange, Wikimedia commons.