Early Years in London

The first years of our lives are vital. Often, it is the poorest children who miss out.

In 2019, only 56 per cent of eligible two-year olds took up a free early education place in London, compared with 68 per cent nationally. By aged five, children entitled to free school meals are almost three months behind their better off peers.

Good quality, affordable childcare benefits society too. It helps parents, especially women to return to work; raising their family income and strengthening to workforce. We want to work with partners across the capital to help:

  • improve the quality of early years provision for all children, particularly the most disadvantaged
  • improve access so all families can find and pay for childcare that meets their needs

Our Early Years in London report (March 2019), provides data on whether the quality and accessibility of early education in London is improving, as well as giving an overview of what the Mayor is going to support the sector and London families.

Our 2019 report follows the Early Years in London baseline and consolation document published in March 2018.

This document set out the activities which was the Mayor was planning, or already undertaking, to support the early years sector. It proposed four indicators that would help us see whether the quality and accessibility of early years provision in London is improving:

  • Ofsted inspection ratings for early education providers
  • the proportion of children who have a ‘good level of development’ at age five, as measured by the EYFSP
  • Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) 2-year-old uptake
  • mothers’ employment rates

This consultation period has now closed. The updated Early Years in London report published in March 2019 gives an overview of responses to the consultation. 

Childcare and early education funding in London

This GLA commissioned report by the Coram Family and Childcare Trust looks at funding of early education in London in autumn 2017. It is based on policy and research analysis, additional analysis of Childcare Survey data, and qualitative interviews with 35 providers.

The Family and Childcare Trust also undertook research for the GLA on the experiences of former childminders in London.

Find out more

Find out more about how the Mayor is improving early education in London by exploring our Early Years projects.

You may also be interested in the following:

  • The London Family Fund: The fund is designed to promote social integration among parents and families in London. The application process for the London Family Fund is now closed
  • ESOL Plus - Childcare Programme: City Hall will work with ESOL providers to deliver an innovative pilot to meet the needs of learners with childcare responsibilities. The application process for ESOL plus - Childcare Programme is now closed

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