I attended my first TEDxExeter event last week and it did not fail to impress me, the speakers were all so inspirational, sharing their amazing stories. One that touched me the most was a talk by June O’Sullivan MBE, Chief Executive and creator of London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) Nurseries. June spoke about poverty in the UK and how it affects so many working families. This then has a knock on effect on a child’s learning and start in life.

June told of how years ago nurseries would allocate places to children depending on the employment status of their parents, ie offering places to children of doctors or teachers. This was totally wrong, as any child, regardless of their background or upbringing is entitled to a fair start in life and to have the same opportunities as everyone. From this, LEYF was born, where everyone is welcome regardless.

As a Mum myself, it really struck me the amount of poverty in the UK and we all know how expensive childcare is, the UK is one of the most expensive places. Parents can now pay an average of over £6,600 per year, for just a part-time nursery place and in areas like London this cost can be much higher (stat taken from the Money Advice Service).

LEYF is such an amazing social enterprise, working closely with families and communities providing every child with wonderful experiences that enrich and extend their learning.

They now have 37 nurseries across London. Creating long-term social change, as well as a successful business. Today they are one of London’s largest and most successful charitable social enterprises, working to change the world, one child at a time. My hope is that more social enterprises will be available across the country for all children.