Lambeth parents celebrate as one family wins FREE childcare for a year
A while back I wrote about the London Early Years Foundation open day that we attended. This year The London Early Year’s Foundation, a group of private nurseries, is celebrating 110 years of offering first class day care and parenting support and in true celebratory style they were holding a big competition with a BIG prize!
They asked parents to visit one of their 24 nurseries in 6 boroughs of London, on one of the open days they held to see the fantastic job they do of keeping little ones entertained and looked after. While there you were of course asked to enter the competition and that prize? A WHOLE YEAR OF FREE CHILDCARE!
Well now they have a winner!
A sea of smiling faces greeted Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Mark Bennett at the Henry Fawcett Community Nursery, as he arrived to celebrate with one very happy local mum and her daughter – official winners of free childcare for a year, provided by leading charity and social enterprise London Early Years Foundation (LEYF).
Local resident and mum of two, Charlene Cousins from Blackprince Road in Lambeth, entered the LEYF Prize Draw in March along with several hundred other families across the capital, when she attended one of LEYF’s 24 open days. Little did she know the difference the visit would make, as she was told only a short-time later she had won free childcare for a year in LEYF’s Henry Fawcett Community Nursery.
“I really couldn’t believe it when I heard I had won. It’s just incredible,” said Charlene. “Without free childcare from LEYF, I really don’t think I would have been able to afford to go back to work full-time.
“What’s more, it’s nice to know that when I go back to work, my daughter will be well cared for and making lots of friends, exploring and having fun with other children.
“And with everyone at Henry Fawcett being so lovely and welcoming, we really couldn’t be happier.”
Attending the fun-filled event, Lambeth Councillor Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said:
“Of the many responsibilities I have as a councillor, there’s nothing I enjoy more than being given the chance to celebrate with local residents like we are this morning, thanks to the London Early Years Foundation’s fantastic ‘Free childcare for a year’ Prize Draw.
“The availability of such high quality early years education as we have here at Henry Fawcett Community Nursery is critical for so many local families. It makes a real difference to the wellbeing of our entire community – not only by giving children the secure and happy start they need to develop and achieve their potential in later life, but also and more immediately by supporting parents back into work.”
LEYF Nursery Manager, Paula Jones, added:
“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Charlene has won LEYF’s ‘Free childcare for a year’ Prize Draw – and that Henry Fawcett community nursery will be caring for her daughter!
“As our 24th nursery in London, and our first in the borough, we’re also delighted to have such a great relationship with Lambeth council and look forward to helping even more families in future.”
Also attending the event were Councillor Jane Edbrooke, Head of Henry Fawcett Primary School Claire Nuttall, Children’s Centre ManagerSally Plumb and local children’s author Margaret Bateson-Hill – who brought proceedings to a rousing close, as she delighted a room full of excited children and parents with a lively retelling of her book ‘Five Little Ducks’.