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The past 24 hours have been even busier for us here than usual - since we managed to make ourselves host and supporter to not one, not two – but three high profile political campaign visits!
First of all, as part of our continued efforts to support childcare affordability across the capital - in particular the London Child Poverty/4in10 campaign now lead by Save the Children - our Fitzrovia Community Nursery on Whitfield Street hosted the first of four events for the Daycare Trust yesterday afternoon. Local Assembly candidates and councillors were invited to speak with parents and staff about their childcare experiences, whilst signing a pledge aimed squarely at promoting affordable childcare ahead of the election on May 3, 2012. Despite the rapidly changing weather conditions, we had great interest from our nursery parents - who met with Labour's Andrew Dismore and staff from the campaign - so would like to thank them all for sparing the extra few minutes to offer their support.
Then earlier today, Harriet Harman MP (Shadow Deputy Prime Minister) and a number of her female Labour candidates came to visit our Angel Community Nursery, just off Lupus Street, as part of Ken Livingstone’s Mayoral campaign and childcare pledge. Braving the wind and rain (between occasional outbursts of sunshine), staff and children were as always in great spirits, clearly loving the unexpected interest and attention from our special guests! Meanwhile our CEO, June O'Sullivan, took the opportunity to speak with Harriet about the challenges facing both parents and the sector as a whole, leading to several specific promises of support, which we will be eager to follow-up!
Finally, we were delighted to welcome Tessa Jowel MP (Shadow Cabinet Minister for the Olympics and London) and Mary Riddell (Columnist for the Telegraph) to our Central Office and Marsham Street Community Nursery this afternoon. Again, highlighting her party’s commitment to supporting parents and childcare in particular, Tessa Jowell - key driver behind Labour's original SureStart programme - met with children, staff and parents, before speaking with around 50 childcare providers as part of our first ever Pan London Olympics Strategy Meeting.