LEYF’s Apprenticeship Programme 2021

London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) was awarded the Charter Mark for Best Apprenticeship Employer at the 2021 Lambeth Made Charter Mark Awards, in recognition of improved outcomes for a young person and the local community through its apprenticeship scheme.

LEYF’s 18-month apprenticeship programme was recognised for demonstrating diversity and inclusion in its business and teaching programme, whilst ensuring a high success rate of apprentices completing their training.


Children & Young People Now Awards 2021 – The Early Years award

During the pandemic, LEYF supported parents to continue their child’s learning at home, as 24 of its nurseries closed.

The foundation quickly developed a digital home learning service, including videos, activities and tips for parents to do with their child at home.

In total, 35 hours of videos were viewed over 27,000 times, and there were 10,000 visits to the home learning page. Virtual playdates were also run for children unable to attend nursery, from 15 hub nurseries which remained open.


SE100 Leader of the Year 2021

Our CEO, June O’Sullivan, was awarded the SE100 Leader of the Year award for outstanding performance in leadership, resilience, growth, social investment, impact management and climate action.



Nursery World Awards – Health and Wellbeing award

To help support and recognise the work of chefs in nursery settings, the organisation launched the LEYF Chef Academy in 2019, with the understanding that the best way to embed a healthy food culture for children is to train those who cook.

The Chef Academy aims to transform provision of nutritious meals across all of London’s nurseries and put good healthy food on menus.


Nursery World Awards 2020 – Team Development

The award recognised the LEYF Pedagogy and its social enterprise approach, which ensures all children are given a strong start, regardless of background.

Many of LEYF’s nurseries are intentionally located in areas of high deprivation. In order to ensure all nurseries provide the highest quality education, LEYF prioritises its staff teams’ continuous professional development.



Finalist – Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award

Our CEO, June O’Sullivan MBE, was a finalist in the Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Business Woman of the Year award.

This award seeks out women who have led businesses successfully and has recently been extended to honour women running businesses with a social purpose.

Out of 800 entries, June was delighted to be a finalist.


NMT Top 20 Awards

Our CEO, June O’Sullivan MBE, was named as the Most Influential Person in Childcare in 2017 and recognised for being one of the most dedicated, hardworking and encouraging leaders in the Early Years sector.

The manager of LEYF’s House Of Commons nursery, Anjali Deb-Mukherjee, was included in the Top 5 Most Inspirational People in Childcare for her tireless efforts to create the best possible experience for staff and children over her 32-year-long career with us. Most recently, this was apparent during her superb handling of the Westminster terrorist attack and the eventual security lockdown the nursery was placed under until well into the night.



Nursery Manager of the Year (Anjali Deb-mukherjee) – Nursery World Awards

Anjali Deb-Mukherjee, manager of our House of Commons nursery, was awarded Nursery Manager of the Year at the Nursery World Awards.

When a terrorist attack forced the nursery into lockdown, Anjali persuaded the children that they were part of an adventure with the excitement of a possible sleepover. They were given their dinner and put to bed with a story, so when their parents were finally able to pick them up at 10pm, all the children were fed, watered and asleep.

June O’Sullivan, CEO, called Anjali’s response ‘a proud moment for the organisation’.



Bronze Award – Apprenticeships 4 England Awards

These awards recognise outstanding examples of quality, best practice, innovation and excellence in apprenticeship delivery.

They showcase and celebrate the achievements of training providers, and reward and recognise organisations for their commitment, hard work and success in delivering apprenticeship programmes.


Nursery Website of the Year Award – Nursery Management Today Awards

The judges chose our website because: ‘It is easy to use; it has great content including staff stories, and embraces diversity. It is a true reflection of the company.’


Training and Development Awards – Nursery World Awards (Runner Up)

This is awarded to Early Years and childcare services that have built a high quality staff team, through good practice in recruitment and retention, training and career development.


Nursery Chain of the Year – Nursery World Awards (Runner Up)

After winning this award in 2014, we were shortlisted as a runner up in 2016.

This award goes to nursery chains which can prove themselves successful businesses, while also offering high quality care and education.



Group of the Year – Nursery Management Today Awards

This award is for UK nursery groups with three or more settings. It recognises a forward-thinking group, which has shown outstanding success in delivering high quality childcare, well trained and motivated staff, inspirational values and focus across the group.

Judges were impressed with LEYF’s ‘passionate approach, which is inclusive and research-led, and allows staff to tackle the needs and challenges of children and parents.’


Training and Development – Nursery Management Today Awards

Awarded to a business that has shown exceptional commitment to training and developing their staff. The awards panel felt that LEYF ‘clearly and passionately demonstrated excellent commitment to training and development of, not just staff but parents too, through (our) home learning environment and training programmes.’

The judges also admired ‘how readily (we) could evidence the impact these programmes had on families within areas of significant deprivation.’


Childcare Power 20 (June O’Sullivan MBE) – NMT (Runner Up)

Judges were very impressed with the major strategic and cultural shift LEYF has undergone over the past 10 years, and the increased profile and profitability we have secured as a result.


Entrepreneur of the Year (June O’Sullivan MBE) – EY (Regional Finalist)


Website of the Year – Nursery World Awards (Finalist)

Open to Early Years providers (nurseries, schools, pre-schools and childminders) whose websites and use of social media are informative, accessible and innovative.


Community Support – Nursery World Awards (Finalist)

Open to Early Years settings which have involved staff, parents and children in projects to support charities or the wider local community.



Nursery Chain of the Year – Nursery World Awards

This was awarded by Nursery World for the outstanding practice witnessed throughout all our nurseries. The judges were impressed with our ‘strong extra work and staff development’.


Women’s Champion of the Year (June O’Sullivan MBE) – UK Social Enterprise Awards

LEYF CEO June O’Sullivan was awarded this accolade, which recognises women working in the senior leadership team of a social enterprise, who represent excellence in their sector and inspire other women to achieve.


Nursery Group of the Year – NMT Nursery Awards (Finalist)

This award is for UK nursery groups with three or more settings. It recognises a forward-thinking group, which has shown outstanding success in delivering high quality childcare, well trained and motivated staff, inspirational values and focus across the group.


Childcare Power 20 (June O’Sullivan MBE) – NMT (Runner Up)

June was recognised for her passion and caring, engaging, hardworking and empowering nature.

Judges admired her ability and drive to spearhead and lead on change and crucial issues such as quality, affordability and men in childcare.



Inclusive Practice Award – Nursery World Awards

LEYF picked up the Inclusive Practice Award for its efforts to redress the imbalance of Early Years and childcare being seen as ‘women’s work’ through our London Network of Men in Childcare.

The group was set up to enable staff to cope with negative attitudes that discourage men from entering a career in Early Years education.



Transformational Change of the Year – National Business Awards UK

The National Business Awards UK attracts entries from a broad range of organisations of all sizes, across all industry types and from both the public and private sectors.

This win not only recognised LEYF for all the great work it does in the Early Years sector, but also as a successful business.

Staff and children playing with shredded paper

Our nurseries

We’re an award-winning group of 39 London nurseries! Browse our nurseries and find out more about our teams, our Pedagogy, and more.

Staff and Children using creative ways to count

Our educators and staff

Learn more about our knowledgeable and highly skilled teaching staff.

Child riding a bike with staff member holding handlebars

About us

Find out more about LEYF and how we put families and children at the heart of all we do.