Its ambition is to provide 10,000 children across Greater London with access to high-quality and affordable Early Years education, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This long-term strategy will more than double LEYF’s existing portfolio of 39 nurseries to approximately 80 in the future.

The charity bond offer is one of the first steps in LEYF’s forward-thinking plans to raise financing and philanthropic donations in support of this ambition. Over time, the funds will be used to acquire and integrate new nurseries into the LEYF group of nurseries, many of which would not be attractive to ‘for-profit’ nursery providers.

The seven-year bond offer is promoted by Triodos Bank through its crowdfunding platform (triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk) and will pay 5% interest annually. As with all investments, interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed. Investors will be given the option to forgo part of the interest, by opting into a 0% or 2.5% interest rate instead. There is a £50 minimum investment, and the bond is eligible to be held in a Triodos Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that allows interest to be received tax-free. ISA eligibility does not guarantee returns or protect consumers from losing their money.

Today, LEYF supports approximately 4,000 children through its high-quality social enterprise nurseries across 12 London boroughs. The surplus generated from its nurseries located in more affluent areas enables LEYF to cross-subsidise operations in the more deprived areas of London and maximise its social impact.

June O’Sullivan MBE, Chief Executive at LEYF, said: “We believe that the right early childhood education in the highest quality nurseries can support children to achieve their full potential. However, the sad reality is that many children from disadvantaged backgrounds or families struggling with poverty are unable to access an affordable nursery and benefit from high-quality education. That is why the essential financing raised through this bond offer will enable us to significantly increase our social impact by opening more nurseries in areas of London that need us most.”

Richard O’Brien, Corporate Finance Manager at Triodos, adds:LEYF is a great social enterprise to work with as it represents excellence in the quality of its nursery provision and innovation through its business model. This fits perfectly with the mission of Triodos Bank which is to help to create a society that protects and promotes inclusion and equality.”

Evidence shows that the first five years of a child’s life profoundly shapes their future life outcomes, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is why quality early childhood education is so vital to child's social, emotional, cognitive and physical development and building a solid and broad foundation for their lifelong learning.

High-quality nursery education is proven to benefit all children but can also mitigate some of the disadvantages that children from poorer backgrounds face. Whilst the cost of childcare is one of the key barriers which parents face when seeking employment, LEYF’s approach means that it can help tackle the cycle of poverty by offering subsidised places to children from low-income households.

The Triodos bond offer is part of a long-term strategy to raise financing in support of this growth ambition. LEYF will also be seeking philanthropic donations and new partners to support its strategy. For more information about supporting LEYF, contact partnerships@leyf.org.uk.  

Important information

Investments offered on the Triodos crowdfunding platform are not readily realisable, which means that they may be difficult to sell, and you may not get back the full amount invested. Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Repayment of capital and interest will be dependent on the success of the organisation's business model and past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment. You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.

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Notes to editors

For further information and photos please contact:

Ellie James, Triodos Bank

David Clarke, Rock PR

About LEYF

The London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)  has the mission of changing the world one child at a time. LEYF is a registered charity with a social purpose to give London’s children – especially those most in need - the best start in life by providing access to high quality, affordable early childhood education.

LEYF operates 39 nurseries throughout 12 boroughs across London. Our nurseries are disproportionately located in areas of London that need us most – 77% of our nurseries are in the ‘most deprived’ and ‘deprived’ areas vs. an average of 50% throughout London. We also consistently achieve higher Ofsted ratings – over 50% of our nurseries are rated ‘Outstanding’ vs. 22% on average in London’s nurseries.

We are continuously at the forefront of innovation in the Early Years sector – we recently launched our ‘Doubling Down’ research, which evidences the positive impacts from offering children locked in poverty a lifeline of 15 extra hours in nursery – since currently, many children most in need are locked out of 30 hours of Government-funded early education (as evidenced by Sutton Trust). We have a number of other pioneering programmes, such as our Chef Academy, Sustainability qualification, and Apprentice Academy.

About Triodos Bank

Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead, it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.

Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 63 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.

Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.

This financial promotion has been issued and approved by Triodos Bank UK Limited for the purposes of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Triodos Bank UK Ltd. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales with registered number 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request.