Investment in London’s Early Years Hubs pays off as Barnet nursery highlights improvements to its service for children and families

Karen Faux
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Since the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, allocated a funding pot of £175,000 to the launch of three Early Years Hubs last year, Puddleducks Nursery in Barnet is demonstrating how effective the initiative is proving to be.

Joanne McCartney, London Deputy Mayor or Education and Childcare visits Puddleducks Nursery.
Joanne McCartney, London Deputy Mayor or Education and Childcare visits Puddleducks Nursery.

At a recent celebratory visit from London’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, Joanne McCartney, Puddleducks had the opportunity to flag up what it has achieved as a result of this funding.

This includes improving links with other local childcare facilities and ensuring that families who need extra support are referred to the right service. The nursery has also opened up access to training for practitioners and parents.

Feedback from parents about the quality of funded places for two-year-olds has been very positive, and this has allowed some parents to work or study. One parent has gone to university on the back of this support.

Led by the Barnet Early Years Alliance (BEYA), the funding is designed to improve access to high-quality early education for London’s less advantaged families. The aim is that schools, childminders, PVI nurseries and others will work together over a three-year period.

Operating in Barnet, Newham, Wandsworth and Merton, all three hubs are committed to achieving the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) award and are working to improve routes into careers in early education.

Opening the potential for partnership working
Puddleducks manager Balal Arshad said: ‘It’s been highly useful to be involved in the hub as I have been able to upskill my staff with varied training, including courses from Middlesex University. I’ve also been able to coach the children’s parents and service-users with literacy skills on a parent programme supported by the National Literacy Trust designed to help children to learn to read.

‘We have also been able to use a specialist 0-19 Family Practitioner to help families struggling with fussy eating and night-time sleeping routines and behaviour management.’ 

Mr Arshad believes that the connections made with professionals in the community will lead to greater possibilities, some of which have to be discovered.

‘The potential for further partnership working has now opened up and is very exciting,’ she said.

Find out more about Early Years Hubs here

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