Nursery World Awards 2020 - Team Development

Friday, February 5, 2021

Learning & Development at the London Early Years Foundation, London

The London Early Years Foundation’s (LEYF) unique pedagogy reflects its social enterprise approach and ensures all children are given a strong start regardless of background. Many nurseries are intentionally located in areas of high deprivation and in order to ensure all nurseries provide the highest quality education, LEYF prioritises its staff teams’ continuous professional development.

Its in-house training academy, L&D, offers more than 34 CPD programmes for nursery staff of all levels, which are informed by organisational need, international research and innovative approaches to early years education. All staff undertake eight days of training a year on a wide range of subjects including the power of play, the pedagogy of parachutes, dialogic reading and Makaton.

During the pandemic, the L&D team moved rapidly to deliver virtual training to all staff, connecting them during lockdown, as well as ensuring students on accredited courses continued working towards their qualifications. Adapting LEYF Degree sessions for online delivery also enabled LEYF teachers to continue their higher education studies despite restrictions.

Also during lockdown, when nurseries were open only to the children of key workers and vulnerable children, the L&D team provided a range of home-learning resources based on household objects. This included activities, recipe ideas and YouTube videos. Access to online resources was free for all parents, regardless of whether their child attended a LEYF nursery.

The LEYF Academy is a registered CACHE Centre offering accredited qualifications including a Level 1 Introduction to Early Years and Level 3 Apprenticeships. In response to the childhood obesity crisis, the Academy designed and delivers a CACHE Level 2 accredited qualification for nursery chefs in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

LEYF also runs a Foundation Degree in Early Years with the University of Wolverhampton, incorporating a module on the LEYF Pedagogy, which is designed, delivered and assessed by its L&D team.

Classroom-based training is supplemented by My LEYF, an e-learning platform offering staff access to more than 5,000 training programmes. The L&D team also provides on-site support, working on the floor alongside nursery teachers, coaching, mentoring and role modelling outstanding practice. This ensures all training has a direct impact on the children and families at LEYF, and helps embed new skills and knowledge within nursery teams.

All nurseries complete termly audits of their provision, facilitated by the LEYF Pedagogy Development Scale (LPDS). The L&D team continually reviews the training offer and adapts it to address any areas for improvement highlighted by the LPDS.

The small L&D team of five works tirelessly to ensure that all LEYF staff are continuously developing professionally by running scheduled training sessions and making regular site visits across all nurseries to oversee the delivery of the LEYF pedagogy.

With the children at the heart of everything they do, the L&D team has been able to continue to positively impact and enrich the lives of LEYF’s children, families and teachers.


Continuous professional development with our support at The Elms Day Nursery – University of Birmingham

Talent Management at Treehouse Nursery School


Open to early years and childcare services that have built a high-quality staff team through good practice in recruitment and retention, training and career development


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