London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) used social investment to expand its early years nurseries in London. 

3 years
Cost of capital
£2.23 million
Amount invested
Product type
Secured loan


Many parents are discouraged from returning to work because of the high cost of childcare. As a result, many children from low-income backgrounds miss out on high-quality nursery education.


London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) runs nurseries in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas, subsidising parents to access free nursery places. They are the largest provider of the free two-year-old childcare offer in London.

Revenue Model 

Social investment has enabled LEYF to develop a cross-subsidy business model whereby profitable nurseries in affluent areas subsidise community nurseries in deprived parts of London.


48% of the children attending LEYF nurseries do so through subsidised places. LEYF builds social cohesion by bringing children from all backgrounds together. It supports family well-being through education that increases the child’s readiness for school while enabling parents to return to work. LEYF has exceeded the national Ofsted outcome.

We are delighted to be able to extend our partnership with LEYF, to enable June and her team to significantly expand over the coming years. LEYF is a great example of a commercially driven social enterprise that is making a real difference to people’s lives principally through the quality of nursery provision available but also in their commitment to colleague development and wider integration into the local community.

        Stuart Ferguson, Investment Director, Big Issue Invest