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Publications & research

Our child-centered approach to everything we do remains as bold and creative as when we first started back in 1903.

Reputable research on early childhood plays a key role in improving care and education for our children and inspiring us to test new ideas and stand up for what we believe in.

We also conduct our own research, taking an area of development in a nursery and working directly with staff to apply a hypothesis and establish aims and outcomes. Through practical training we then address the development need and measure the real impact of this training. 

Our research is written up and training modules created to share best practice across all our nurseries. Results are published as case studies and articles, both in relevant trade publications and online.

Some recent examples are shown below



Successful Leadership in the Early Years

Successful Leadership in the Early Years

In line with government initiatives, there is growing pressure within the early years sector to create staff who can lead different types of childcare and family settings in order to address two main government targets. Firstly, reducing poverty among families with small children and secondly, increasing educational opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in order to give them a better start in life. Many say that for this to happen we need people who can lead an effective team of capable, professional colleagues. This is no easy task in the modern Early Years market. June O'Sullivan, Chief Executive of LEYF, acknowledges the problems and provides ideas and suggestions to address the issues facing leaders so that they are supported to lead us into a future where we can all help make a big difference for a long time.

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Each One Teach One

Each One Teach One

This project aimed to improve the teaching of numeracy and literacy skills in early years, and helped us to ensure that the children in our nurseries are better prepared for school by creating a nurturing home learning environment. Each One Teach One enabled us to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills of our practitioners so that they can deliver a high quality, consistent, age-appropriate curriculum in numeracy and literacy. Staff could hold pedagogical conversations with parents to sustain children's learning at home.

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‘The Twoness of Twos’ – a Report on the Leadership for Two Year Olds

This research was commissioned to prepare LEYF to be ready and able to provide two year olds with the best possible care and education. The report was also intended to inform those responsible for policy decisions as well as those leading services and practice.

June O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of the London Early Years Foundation, said: “LEYF is delighted to share its findings with the sector. It raised some interesting findings not least about the importance of environment, nutrition for two year olds and the power of the home learning environment. We want to do the utmost for our two year olds and hope our report adds to the current discussion about how we help ensure the best provision for our most vulnerable children.”

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'Tetleys Adventures' - a Multigenerational Arts Project for People Living with Dementia and Early Years Children

'Tetleys Adventures' - a Multigenerational Arts Project for People Living with Dementia and Early Years Children

This short report documents an account of the multigenerational arts based project led by Bright Shadow in partnership with LEYF’s Luton Street (now Tresham Crescent) Nursery and a site within Notting Hill Extra Care services for older people, during June - July 2015. The report gives a brief overview of the partners involved, describes the activities undertaken during the project and provides a reflective evaluation of the outcomes of the project from the perspective of those involved. Based on the experiences of the project, the report makes some recommendations on the value of intergenerational work in supporting wellbeing of older people living with dementia and community engagement using arts based approaches.

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Men in childcare

A new film was created to enlighten others about the benefits of having a gender-balanced workforce. Men in childcare is good for children, good for staff teams and good for society.

Despite all that had been written about the benefits of men working in Early Years, little had been done to look at the children’s perspective. We were also keen to examine how the Goverment's recently published targets for raising the number of men working in childcare were being met.

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Social Enterprise - What's love got to do with it?

Is love an essential requirement for a successful social enterprise? Or is it actually a by-product, the mechanism or even the result of one?

This report by Intentionality explores the role that love has to play in social enterprises and in the creation of positive social impact.

Eleven social entrepreneurs, commentators and supporters of social enterprise were interviewed, including our CEO June O-Sullivan, to discover their thinking about love in the context of social enterprise. June says "a loving experience for children, with a loving relationship in a loving environment is actually our core business".

Read the full report

The London Ofsted Big Conversation

The London Ofsted Big Conversation

The 2016 Ofsted Big Conversation took place on 17th October at Bain's offices on The Strand. The meeting was chaired by LEYF CEO and OBC Chair June O'Sullivan MBE, with Gill Jones (Deputy Director at Ofsted) also in attendance.

Read the full minutes here

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Learning & development: Maths - Weighing up progress

Learning & development: Maths - Weighing up progress

At LEYF, we have a clearly articulated pedagogy and set of methods for embedding best practice, including training, coaching, monitoring and peer-to-peer observations. Nevertheless, it’s always a challenge to ensure staff are following the pedagogy and operating within it consistently. One of our more successful methods in embedding best practice has been through action research, and one example of that has been our re-evaluation of how we support boys’ maths learning.

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Eating In - How the funding gap in the 30 hours offer affects food quality

Eating In - How the funding gap in the 30 hours offer affects food quality

Nursery food is one of the areas of provision expected to be strongly affected when the 30-hour free childcare offer comes in later this year. With funding rates tight, it's thought that nurseries will be forced to reduce the amount that they spend on ingredients - which may have an adverse effect on quality - or start charging parents an additional fee for meals

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Effective leadership in the Early Years sector

Effective leadership in the Early Years sector

Effective leadership in the early years is vital to the success of a setting. However, that is easier said than done, as leadership is complex. Certainly, the traditional concept of a leader as an individual at the top of a hierarchy is an incomplete appreciation of true leadership.

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