The announcement was made today by the deputy mayor for education and childcare Joanne McCartney, who offically launched the programme at the Greater London Authority’s London Early Years conference in City Hall.
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The Early Years Leaders programme, which is being delivered by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), will see 30 early years coaches recruited and trained to work with 90 early years practitioners to further develop their management, leadership and business skills.
It will support all types of childcare providers across London’s 33 boroughs and run until the end of 2020.
There will be a focus on working with practitioners in the most deprived communities.
An aim of the programme is to help address the availability and quality of childcare in the capital by increasing the number of practitioners with the skills to grow their settings and upskill staff. It is hoped this will lead to improved outcomes for children, particularly those from less advantaged backgrounds.
NDNA is currently recruiting early years managers, owners and experts to train as coaches, who must be able to demonstrate they have exemplary early years practice and/or experience deploying a successful business model. Coaches will be provided with a stipend and travel allowance.
Coaches will be assigned to existing early years practitioners, qualified to at least Level 3, who they will meet with termly to develop their management, leadership and business skills. Coaches will be able to provide help in a specific area if required.
Practitioners taking part will also have access to NDNA’s online training and quality and business improvement resources.
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA, said, ‘We are thrilled that the Mayor of London has invested in this programme which should improve quality and sustainability of childcare businesses across the capital.
‘Our priority is to make sure that half of the participants work in the most deprived communities which will help to support children who need early years education the most. We know that providing high quality access, especially for two-year-olds, is the most effective way to give children the best start in life and to support them to fulfil their potential.
‘At the end of the programme, participants will be encouraged to develop their skills further through relevant training and these needs will be identified by the participants and their coaches.
‘We feel passionately that all children should receive the best quality of early years education and care in order to reduce the attainment gap and investment in this programme is a great start. The Mayor recognises this and has made the funds available to put this plan into action.’
Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, Joanne McCartney, added, ‘A child’s experiences in their early years are essential to their future success which is why it is vital we give young Londoners the best possible start to life.
‘The Mayor and I are committed to improving early years provision in London and I’m proud to launch the Early Years Leaders programme, an ambitious new scheme that will help childcare professionals make a real difference in the lives of young Londoners.’