More children will get an excellent start in life, whatever their background, thanks to new support for London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) from Social Business Trust (SBT).

LEYF has already grown over eight years from 23 to 37 nurseries in London with help from SBT, providing early years education and care for over 4,300 children a week. LEYF now aims to increase occupancy in those nurseries and open new centres, eventually bringing the total to 50.

The new support from SBT includes: strategy development from Bain & Company; technical assistance from Getronics to develop a shared service centre; financial structuring advice from Permira Debt Managers; working capital input from EY; legal assistance from Clifford Chance and staff mentoring from across our corporate partners.  

Delivery of that help will be overseen by Chris Pell, a Principal at Permira, who has been LEYF’s SBT Investment Director since 2011.  Over that time, SBT has already given LEYF over 1,300 days of targeted expert business support and £500,000 in cash grants to fund LEYF’s first Director of Business Development and contribute to capital expenditure ‘turn-around’ costs for acquired nurseries.

June O’Sullivan MBE, CEO of LEYF said: “This support in kind from SBT will be hugely beneficial in helping us achieve our business objectives whilst continuing to provide outstanding nursery education to all children.”

Adele Blakebrough MBE, CEO of SBT said “LEYF do fantastic work providing excellent early years education for all children, regardless of their family situation. We’re delighted to be giving them further assistance from our corporate partners to support their next exciting phase of growth.”

LEYF uses a cross-subsidy model, under which fees paid from more well-off families are used to subsidise places for children from less-advantaged backgrounds. Last year, 39% of children were subsidised, with up to 87% of those having additional learning needs.