22nd April 2021 All Posts Sustainability in the Early Years

Customer Success Story: LEYF Launches NEW Level 4 Sustainability Qualification for Early Childhood Education

Over the past year, one of the things we have particularly enjoyed here at Connect Childcare has been helping our customers to communicate their good news stories online, sharing positivity in what has been a challenging time for the sector. It’s been incredible to see so many settings adapting to their new conditions and to see many innovating and changing their processes to come up with solutions to new problems.

Today we are sharing a success story for one of our long standing customers LEYF who have launched a brand new Level 4 Sustainability Qualification for Early Childhood Education. If your setting has a good news story to share, please let us know by completing this form or by emailing marketing@connectchildcare.com.

LEYF Launches NEW Level 4 Sustainability Qualification for Early Childhood Education

To mark World Earth Day (22nd April),  one of the UK’s largest and most successful charitable social enterprises, London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) has launched the first ever Level 4 qualification (accredited by CACHE) to teach about the principles of sustainability through pedagogy, process and practice and create Green Champions across Early Years settings.

Framed around the following eight key elements for sustainability, the assessment of the ‘Developing Sustainability in the Early Yearsqualification is via a portfolio of evidence and learner enquiry which must meet all set criteria. 

  • Reduce – Decrease consumption of food wastage, materials and resources.
  • Reuse – Use materials many times and for different purposes.
  • Repair – Fix things rather than discarding them or repurposing them.
  • Recycle – Be aware of alternatives to discarding rubbish and educate children on the importance and impact they can have through this.
  • Rot – Let things go back to the earth to enrich the next crop of plants while also providing a habitat for many insects and small rodents.
  • Respect – Nurture understanding of and respect for nature and natural processes and reduce the extent to which they are violated, showing consideration and compassion for people and animals.
  • Reflect – The habit or skill of being thoughtful and asking questions.
  • Responsibility – Be trusted to take care of something or to do something worthwhile. Be socially and economically sustainable, e.g. supporting fair trade and local markets to promote community wellbeing.

Currently, the Early Years Foundation Stage Reform does not include any reference to promoting sustainability in Early Years education nor how best to educate practitioners. This new Level 4 qualification aims to address this by embedding an ethos of sustainability into the management of Early Years settings, training employees to become green champions, and teaching children about best practice.

The 3-month e-learning course, which has already been successfully taught at LEYF to 20 internal candidates, will be headed up by Nick Corlett, Senior Manager at Marsham Street Nursery and Pre-School (LEYF) and Sustainability lead for the organisation. It is due to start in September 2021. 


Nick Corlett says: “Like many nurseries, LEYF is already committed to reducing waste and plastic and strengthening their understanding of organisational and pedagogical sustainability but we all could be doing more which is why this national qualification is so important for practitioners to undertake.”


June O’Sullivan, CEO of LEYF adds: “When it comes to teaching about sustainability in the Early Years, England lags behind our international colleagues. It is therefore imperative that sustainability is not only taught to Early Years staff but also incorporated into each setting’s pedagogy. Teaching about the Sustainable Development Goals makes us realise that sustainability addresses huge issues that impact on children from poverty to climate change. To make the world a better place for children, we must put the right foundations in place now and the Early Years is the best place to begin”.

The launch of the Level 4 qualification forms part of LEYF’s wider organisational commitment to green issues with the recent introduction of Green LEYF which looks at educating its nurseries and the communities they inhabit about sustainability, beginning with helping us all understand how to be as ‘green-minded’ as possible.

To register interest in the course, visit https://leyf.org.uk/our-green-leyf/

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Marketing Lead at Connect Childcare