Give children in poverty the gift of learning

by London Early Years Foundation in London, Greater London, United Kingdom


Gift Aid
+ est. £1736.25
£80,000 target 13 days left
9% 48 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 21st December 2021 at 4:48pm

Give children trapped in poverty, unjustly excluded from Government 30 hours funding, a lifeline of 15 extra hours at nursery and a hot meal

by London Early Years Foundation in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

A lifeline of 15 extra hours in nursery

Currently, children trapped in poverty are locked out of 30 hours of Government-funded early education.

LEYF won’t stand by. In response to witnessing children arriving at nursery “hungry, anxious and developmentally delayed” as a result of living in poverty and exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns, in October 2020, the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) offered a lifeline of 15 extra hours in nursery, plus a daily hot meal. 

These additional hours resulted in significant progress in children’s learning and development, across both personal, social and emotional development (PSED) as well as their communication and language skills. This offer also helped struggling families stay afloat and improved parents’ mental health as this gave them time to apply for jobs or seek therapy.


Further details about the positive impacts and benefits experienced by our children, staff, and parents can be accessed in our external evaluation here.  

Importance of Early Years education

A child’s brain develops fastest during the first five years of life. Every experience, negative and positive, influences who they will become, their health and wellbeing. This is why high quality Early Years care and education are so important. Children aged 0-5 years who are trapped in poverty too often miss the opportunity to learn and by the age of 22 months they are already 4.6 months behind their more affluent peers.

We need your help

We want to raise funds so we can continue offering up to 15 free additional hours to LEYF children who need them most, 'Doubling Down' on the Government entitlements. 

We want to continue to offer a lifeline of an extra 15 hours at nursery to children at LEYF who are most held back by poverty. We will use funds raised to continue to run Doubling Down for our children who are most in need so they can access additional hours to high-quality education and care for free.  

The first £80k we raise would support 40+ children with access to up to 15 hours of free, high-quality Early Years education and care for one term.

Our ambition for systemic change

Ultimately, LEYF’s vision is to expand access to 30 hours of funded early education to ALL children. We are calling on both the Government and global investors to provide £165m of urgent funding to bridge the initial shortfall and widen access to the current 30 hours offer. Without this, the progress in closing attainment gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers will diminish, with potentially devastating consequences for the 1.3 million children aged under 5 who live in poverty in the UK.

Partner with LEYF

If you’re interested in discussing a more substantial donation to help LEYF continue #DoublingDown, please reach out to [email protected] 


About LEYF

LEYF has the ambition of changing the world one child at a time. LEYF is a registered charity with a social purpose to give London’s children the best start in life through the highest quality Early Years education, especially those who otherwise may not be able to access or afford it – thereby addressing the three systemic challenges that prevent children from achieving their full potential.

LEYF operates 39 nurseries throughout 12 boroughs across London. Our nurseries are disproportionately located in areas of London that need us most – as of 31 March 2021, 77% of our nurseries were in the ‘most deprived’ and ‘deprived’ areas vs. an average of 50% throughout London. We also consistently achieve higher Ofsted ratings - 56% of our nurseries are rated ‘Outstanding’ vs. 22% on average in London’s nurseries.

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