18 Feb Teach First founder on track to tackle Newham childcare crisis
Teach First founder Brett Wigdortz is calling on Newham residents to take action to tackle the borough’s childcare crisis, as Ofsted data reveals that there are 10.2 children under the age of 11 for every preschool or after-school placement available.
With Newham families being hit harder than any other UK region by childcare shortages, Wigdortz is rolling out his pioneering early years initiative, tiney, to help solve the crisis. tiney is on a mission to recruit and retrain Newham residents as skilled childminders to provide local families with exceptional care.
The tiney initiative has already successfully established over 100 ‘micro nurseries’ across London during its pilot scheme. Now, the team are onboarding a new cohort of childminders from Newham onto their sector-leading training course, marking an important milestone on their journey to tackle the UK’s childcare shortage and transform the early years education sector.
Built on the principle of affordable, community-based childcare, tiney nurseries are designed to provide up to six preschool children with a curriculum focused on learning through play. The nurseries are set up at the childminder’s home, which studies show is the best learning environment for preschool children. The tiney curriculum has been designed to support key physical, mental and social skill development, and to prepare children to flourish once they reach school.
tiney nursery leaders are fully trained in proven pedagogical methods, guaranteeing a level of expertise which is often lacking in the sector. tiney, an Ofsted-registered agency, also supports new recruits to secure First Aid qualifications, DBS certification and extensive safeguarding training, in line with their goal to rehabilitate the professional status of the childminder.
The tiney expansion comes as official reports show how the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the childcare sector – with providers in Newham being no exception. Research commissioned by Sadiq Khan revealed 64 per cent of nurseries and 56 per cent of childminders consider their services to be at immediate risk of closure or to be facing potential closure in the next 12 months, meaning that new and innovative childcare schemes are needed more than ever.
Brett Wigdortz, founder of tiney, comments:
“Newham’s families have been struggling with inadequate childcare provision for too long, and I’m delighted that tiney will soon be providing a powerful solution in the borough. Every new nursery means another group of children inspired to love learning and another talented professional joining the childcare sector.
“From my many years in the education sector, I cannot overstate the importance of early years education. By the time children are 5, the development gap between disadvantaged pupils and their advantage peers is already well established and persists throughout their education journey. Unless we work hard to strengthen our early years provision, we cannot hope to support child development during those crucial 0-5 years.
“That’s why tiney is working tirelessly to recruit and train new nursery leaders, so together we can deliver best-in-class care to children in Newham and across the country.”
tiney are currently welcoming applications from prospective childminders who are based in Newham, with ex-teachers, nursery nurses and city workers amongst recent trainees.
Frances Vulliamy, who recently opened Amity Road tiney nursery in Newham, comments:
“As a nursery owner, it’s an incredible privilege to provide essential support to families in my local community. Every day I have the chance to positively impact the life-chances of the next generation, and to make a difference to the future of Newham.
“Without local childcare provision, many Newham parents would be unable to balance their careers with family life, meaning the importance of nurseries like mine cannot be overstated.
“I would encourage anyone looking for a rewarding career change to consider opening their own tiney nursery. Although I had never run my own business before, the support I’ve received from the tiney team has been exceptional. In addition, the training programme left me feeling confident and well-equipped to educate and nurture the children in my care.”