Deputy Mayor celebrates Wandsworth playschool's early years success

08 October 2019

London’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, Joanne McCartney, today visited Alton Community Playschool in Wandsworth to celebrate the vital support it provides to local families.

The centre is part of Wandle Early Years Hub, one of three created by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to improve the quality and take-up of free early education in their boroughs. The hubs – Wandsworth and Merton, Barnet and Newham – were each given £175,000 in funding to support the capital’s most disadvantaged children.

At the nursery, the Deputy Mayor saw first-hand the impact the hub is having on young families in the borough as she met with parents who have benefitted from access to funded places for two year olds. Joanne also met a mother who has been able to start working thanks to her daughter’s funded place and the flexibility the nursery has provided.

Through its involvement with Wandle Early Years Hub, Alton Community Playschool has benefitted from improved links with other local early years providers, access to parent-child workshops and training opportunities for staff. The playschool is also in the process of joining more than 100 childcare providers across Wandsworth and Merton in registering for the Mayor’s Healthy Early Years London award scheme, which supports the promotion of children’s health and wellbeing in early years centres.

Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, Joanne McCartney, said: “It is vital that our youngest Londoners are given every opportunity to succeed from an early age.

“The Early Years Hubs provide an important resource for children, parents and early years professionals, enabling them to take part in specialist training opportunities and empowering them to develop the early years network in their local area.

“Everyone at Alton Community Playschool should be very proud of their hard work in improving access to quality early years provision in Wandsworth and Merton. I hope their example inspires more settings to engage with their local hub.”

Managing Director, Alton Community Playschool, Cristina Motoca said: “When we signed up to become one of the partners for the Wandle Early Years Hub we knew the project could positively benefit our setting and, most importantly, our children.

“We have been able to send staff members on training which has allowed them to reflect upon their practice and upskill their professional development.”

Assistant Director, Wandle Teaching School Alliance, Davina Salmon: “The funding to develop the Wandle Early Years Hub as a collaborative cross-sector organisation has provided an invaluable opportunity to enable education and childcare settings to work together to improve the quality of early years provision for children, particularly the most disadvantaged.

“The hub is a partnership of professionals from maintained nursery schools, early years provision within schools, PVI nurseries and childminders, local authorities, health services, businesses, further education colleges, non-profit organisations, higher education institutions and is led and facilitated by the Wandle Teaching School Alliance.

“The generous and willing collaboration of all hub partners has produced some high-quality activity around engaging families, providing professional development for staff, improving early intervention for children with special educational needs and promoting early years as a positive career choice.”

Notes to editors

•          The Mayor's first three Early Years Hubs launched in January 2018 and exist to improve access to high-quality early education for London’s less advantaged families.

The hubs provide an opportunity for schools, childminders, Private Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nurseries and others to work together over a three-year period

All three hubs are committed to achieving the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) award and are working to improve routes into careers in early education.

Find out more about the Early Years Hubs here - https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-launches-early-years-hubs

•          Alton Community Playschool is part of Wandle Early Years Hub, which is led by Chesterton Primary School as part of their Teaching School Alliance.

•          The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is supporting early years education and childcare providers to create healthier environments for the children they serve. His Healthy Early Years London award scheme gives Bronze, Silver and Gold status to centres which actively encourage children to learn about their health and empower them to develop lifelong healthy habits.

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