Category Archives: news

LEYF releases new video

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LEYF releases new video

The London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) is an award-winning family of 38 nurseries across London. As a charity and social enterprise they really care about early childhood, childcare and helping families from all backgrounds achieve the best for their under-fives. Working in their nurseries means being part of a passionate team, helping children learn and develop in a fun and caring environment. It can be exhausting and challenging, but LEYF believe working in early years is the most important job in London, and have released a new video showing what it’s like to be a part of.

For more infomation visit

NMT Christmas Lunch 2017

We are delighted to announce that this year’s NMT Christmas Lunch will take place at the Amba Charing Cross Hotel on 6th December from 12pm to 4pm. The lunch will be a three course extravaganza starting with a drinks reception. This event is a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues in the sector and celebrate Christmas a bit early!

for more details

MP visits local nursery to discuss childcare funding

On Tuesday 21st June, a local nursery welcomed Michael Tomlinson, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, to a meeting to discuss their concerns over the childcare funding rates currently being offered across the South.  Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director for Tops Day Nurseries, was joined by Jeannette Pike and Louise Speer from Merley Pre-School and Caroline Marks from First Steps Nursery, to discuss the future for Early Years providers.

Mr Tomlinson MP was invited to the Wimborne setting of Tops Day Nurseries, which currently has 17 nurseries across the South.  He was first given a tour of the busy nursery, helping the children play, paint and also read a story to one group of children before moving on to discuss the current restrictions nurseries are facing in terms of funding rates.Tops2

“We were delighted that Mr Tomlinson was able to join us so we could take the opportunity to explain the situation early years providers are facing,” explains Cheryl.  “Currently parents of 3 and 4 year olds receive a maximum of 15 hours free childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.  The government subsidise these free hours, however their rates do not come close to covering the costs we have, which works out as an average of around £5 per hour per child.  This includes staff costs, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, resources, food; the list goes on.  An announcement was made in April regarding new funding from local authorities and in some cases the amount of funding we receive has been reduced from before, with our Poole nurseries hit the worst where the funding was reduced from £4.16 per hour to just £3.71 per hour.”

Since April’s announcement, Cheryl has spent the last two months seeking support from other early year’s providers affected by the rates, as well as canvassing the local MP’s, which led to the visit on 21st June from Michael Tomlinson MP.  “Things will only get worse later in the year with the introduction of the 30 hours free funding, with several nurseries around England already stating they will not be offering this new structure of funding as they will not continue to be sustainable businesses.”

As well as discussing these two points, other topics included the impact that paying VAT and business rates has, the repercussions should the apprenticeship levy be implemented as planned, and the block to professional development for nursery practitioners being made by the government insisting on GCSE C grades in Maths and English before doing a Level 3 course.  Cheryl concluded, “As well as these areas of concern, Mr Tomlinson will also be taking our petition to the Minister.  We created the petition following the announcement in April to encourage government to review the funding rates now and not wait for the next round of changes in April, and to date we have over 27,000 signatures.  This is the time for Early Years providers to come together and fight for what we deserve as childcare providers to be able to provide the best for our future generations.”
Michael Tomlinson MP said of the visit, “I was delighted to be able to meet with local childcare providers to hear their concerns. Tops Wimborne is an excellent local nursery and I was pleased to be able to see the facility for myself. I am meeting with Ministers and will ensure that the views of childcare experts are well known and listened to. Early years funding is hugely important and I am working for a good deal for Poole & Dorset.”

To find out more details about the petition from Tops Day Nurseries you can visit their website

NMT Nursery Agenda returns to Scotland

The NMT Nursery Agenda, a regional speed-dating and networking event held over 24 hours, was staged in Scotland by NMT magazine on 1st September 2017 at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel.

The day proved to be a tremendous success, with great feedback from all involved.

CLICK HERE to find out more

Scottish NMT Nursery Awards 2016 – Host Announced!


We are delighted to announce that the host for this years Scottish NMT Nursery Awards will be Edward Reid.

Edward shot to fame after appearing in Britains Got Talent back in 2011 and impressed the judges and public with his wonderful twist on nursery rhymes. Since appearing on the show Edward  has been engulfed with success and performs regularly at corporate and charity events around Scotland and the UK. Edward’s extensive range of songs are captivating and he has enjoyed entertaining not only in his first passion musical theatre, but in comedies,  cruise ships, theatre, production cabaret and pantomime. He scooped Radio Forth’s Best Fringe in 2012 Show for his one man show ‘Living The Dream One Song At A Time’ and was awarded Bighearted Scotland’s Entertainer of The Year in 2013. We cant wait to hear to welcome him to the stage for the 2016 Scottish NMT Nursery Awards!

CLICK HERE for more information and to book your place!

Preparing your evidence!

If you haven’t already gathered and submitted your evidence for the government’s Call for evidence: review of the cost of providing childcare time is running out, as the deadline is 10 August.

FundingPerhaps, you are finding the task too demanding at a busy time of year, but the need is even greater now the new national Minimum Wage will make breaking even considerably more difficult for nurseries. But if you are struggling, do not despair – NDNA has a range of tools to make the task easier and more accurate.

  1. a pro-forma + explanatory notes, devised by the research company that is carrying out the research into the costs of funded places for the DfE. This will help you pull together the details you need in order to calculate your costs
  1. the NDNA break-even template, which will enable you to demonstrate the profit or loss of the individual rooms in your nursery. NDNA also provides easy-to-follow online notes on using it.  

NDNA also advises you to provide background on your nursery, eg your history, ethos, Ofsted rating, any quality awards, partnership working and how you contribute to your local community.

To access this support, go to

Nursery Agenda Midlands – A great success!

midlands_agenda1The tenth NMT Nursery Agenda arrived in the Midlands once again to a glorious sunny day and proved to be the biggest and best Agenda yet.

Held at the luxurious Ettington Chase Hotel and Spa in Stratford-upon-Avon, nurseries from far and wide gathered to engage in discussion, share ideas and explore innovative products and services presented by leading suppliers to the childcare sector.

The action packed day was kicked off by Paul Miller, chief executive of main sponsor Redwoods Dowling Kerr, who provided insight into the current state of the childcare sector. He said that the sector was looking positive with corporates actively searching for acquisitions and a steady stream of new entrants boosting the market. Redwoods had sold eight nurseries that week, for example.


The positive tone of the meeting was confirmed by a poll of the nurseries held at the end of the day. This showed that, without exception, nurseries felt optimistic about the future for their own business but also for the future of the sector – a more optimistic response than last year.

One of the joys of the timing and location of Nursery Agenda Midlands is that there can be an outdoors Drinks Reception which this year was sponsored by Santander, and a very popular cheese tasting featuring exotic and delicious cheeses sponsored by EASYsolution 4 NURSERY EDUCATION.
Another favourite at NMT Nursery Agenda is the BBQ also held outdoors – thanks to sponsor One File Primate for the delicious meats, salads and desserts.

Recognition of the most influential people in childcare

Printcanarywharf21 May was a red letter day for the brightest and best in childcare across the UK, who gathered in a suite on the 31st floor of the Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf for an evening celebrating their achievements, courtesy of their sponsors and hosts, Barclays Bank.

The full complement of the NMT Top 20 2015 were there, and excitement rallied high as they waited to learn who had been awarded the highest accolade.

It had been a lengthy process leading up to this point: our panel of judges, Ian Murchie, relationship director of Barclays healthcare and education team, Sue Robb, national head of early years at 4Children, and Richard Dorrance, chair of Training Qualifications UK, sifted through the many nominations before whittling them down to the talented 20.

When, finally, Dr Richard Hawkins, editor-in-chief, broke the suspense and announced Purnima Tanuku OBE, CE of NDNA, as the overall winner, there were cheers and smiles of approval. Praising Purnima for her dedicated lobbying on behalf of the sector and her commitment to raising standards, he added:
“We are very proud of the nursery sector and the many outstanding people who work within it offering superb care to such important members of our communities. NMT Nursery Top 20 recognises the people who are really driving the sector forward and offers them an opportunity to share and spread their positive influence to a wider audience.”

Our congratulations to the runners up:  Laura Henry, MD of Laura Henry Consultancy, and June O’Sullivan, chief executive of London Early Years Foundation.

Five Most Inspirational People

The Five Most Inspirational People were:

Stuart BamfordHeadteacher / founder, Chelsea Pre-Prep and Nursery
Jennifer Blain – Founder / principal, Denning Montessori School
Sue JonesManaging Director and owner, Evolution Childcare
Catriona NasonManaging Director, Daycare Doctor
Kate Peach – Managing Director,  Each Peach Childcare

The NMT Nursery Top 20

The Top 20 were:

Linda Baston-Pitt – Managing Director, Old School House Day Nursery and Training Centre
Andrew CliffordManaging Director, First Class Childcare Group
Laura HenryManaging Director, Laura Henry Consultancy
Jill JohnsonMD and Founder, Twinkles Nursery Ltd
Neil LeitchCEO, Pre-school Learning Alliance
Catherine LyonOwner of EASYSoloution4NURSERYEDUCATION
Ken McArthurOwner of Polly Annas Nursery
Susan McGheeDirector, BNG Training Ltd and Bertram Nursery Group Ltd
Ross MidgleyDirector, People and Business Development (PBD)
Andy MorrisManaging Director, Asquith Nurseries
Inez MurrayMD and owner, Four Seasons Nurseries
June O’SullivanCEO, London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)
Kate PeachManaging Director, Each Peach Childcare
Ruth PimentelCEO, Toad Hall Nursery Group
Sarah RotundoDirector, Childbase Partnership
Sarah SteelManaging Director, The Old Station Nursery
Purnima TanukuCEO, National Day Nurseries Association
Chris TownsonDirector, Toybox Great Denham Ltd
Deborah TroupOwner / Manager, Little Treasures Nursery
Penny WebbChildminder, Penny’s Place

The judges

Richard DorranceChair, Training Qualifications UK
Sue RobbNational Head of Early Years, 4Children
Ian MurchieRelationship Director, Barclays Healthcare and Education Team

A big thank you to… Barclays

“Barclays was delighted to support the NMT Nursery Top 20 and Most Inspirational People awards for the second year, as they recognise and reward individuals within the sector who have made a real difference either by making an impact on the market or on others whom they have inspired.
“Many of the stories that were shared by the nominees on the evening highlighted just how devoted they were to providing the highest standards of childcare. The day nurseries sector plays a vital role in helping to provide children with the best possible start in life, and it was refreshing to be part of an event which recognises the individuals who are contributing so much to the sector and the children in their care.”

Ian Murchie – Relationship Director, Barclays Bank


The six commercial partners were The Consortium Early Years, Connect Childcare, dot2dot,
The Childcare Company,, Asquith Nurseries


Incredible response to new nursery in Totterdown

Mama_BearsAn open day for parents held at the new Mama Bear’s Day Nursery in Totterdown has proved an outstanding success.

The new nursery, which will be based at The Bush on Wells Road near the junction with Bath Road, has already generated 150 enquiries with over 50 children already registered.

Claire Godfrey of Mama Bear’s Day Nursery said: “We knew The Bush was going to be a popular location for our 19th nursery but were really overwhelmed by the response to our open day.

“The location is a sure-fire winner as it is situated at the bottom of the Wells Road near Three Lamps junction. This means many people will be able to drop their children near the end of their journey to work rather than go miles out of their way before they have started their journey. It is also within comfortable walking distance of Bristol Temple Meads.

“The new nursery will also serve the neighbouring communities of Totterdown, Southville and Bedminster.”

Due to open in January next year the new nursery will provide high-quality childcare for 80 children aged three-months to five years.

Having announced the opening of its Whiteladies Road setting earlier this year, Mama Bear’s has explained its commitment to offering affordable places with a focus on early education.

Claire continued: “We are so excited to be opening a new nursery in Totterdown and adding to our portfolio of much-loved nurseries in Bristol. It is in a great location for those who live or work in the area or anyone who commutes from Bristol Temple Meads. I think it’s

going to be a great asset to the local area.

“The new Totterdown setting will be run to the same high standards as our other nurseries. With a friendly atmosphere and purpose-built rooms suitable for each individual age-group we are confident families will be impressed.

“The great thing about this nursery is the large outdoor area at the back of the building. With lovely views across Bristol we are hoping to turn the garden into a fab feature for children to enjoy.

“Our main priority is caring for the children we look after as well as offering the first taste of early education throughout nursery and pre-school before they start ‘big’ school. We always aim to create a home-from-home environment and we are investing in the best facilities and staff to ensure parents are reassured they have made the right choice and the children themselves love it.

“Mama Bear’s has gained a reputation in the South West for offering the highest quality, affordable care and has been awarded an Outstanding grade by OFSTED every year since 2009.”

The opening of the day nursery will succeed in creating up to 40 new jobs once fully occupied.

The interior of the building will be divided into separate rooms where babies, toddlers and pre-school children can spend the day having fun and learning. An outdoor area will also provide children with more room to play and explore.

Building work is nearly completed and the nursery will open its doors to its first children in January. Families are more than welcome to come and explore all the new toys and space.

Mama Bear’s Day Nursery is a family-run business founded in 2002 with its offices in Hanham, Bristol. The Day Nurseries are aimed at providing children with their first vital level of education to give them a head-start when they start at primary school.

More information on Mama Bear’s Day Nursery can be found at or call Claire Godfrey on 07435 965604.