Imperial has committed £8m to increase the number of nursery places available and improve existing facilities.
Imperial’s Early Years Education Centre (EYEC), one of the largest workplace childcare facilities in London, currently provides day care and education for 158 children of Imperial staff and students each day. Full time and part time places are available, to enable parents to work flexibly, supported by the College’s family friendly benefits.
The £8m investment will expand the EYEC’s capacity, creating an additional 56 places – as well as completely refurbishing the existing indoor and outdoor space. The extra places are being introduced in response to the growing demand for onsite affordable childcare, and will reduce the average waiting time for a place.
Professor James Stirling, Imperial’s Provost, said: “As a world-leading university, Imperial has a longstanding commitment to help staff and students balance their working life with bringing up a family. This investment will expand our nursery provision, enabling us to support more members of our community.”
The College has been reviewing childcare provision for its entire community, and the focus at this stage is on the long-established EYEC, located on the South Kensington Campus. All staff and students are eligible to apply for a place at the EYEC, regardless of their role or campus base.
Imperial’s White City Campus has also been a key focus area in terms of future planning. The College is working directly with parents due to move to the College’s White City Campus over the next few years to consider support in terms of transport and EYEC opening hours, until a permanent facility at White City is in place. Following feedback from parents in the staff community, the EYEC team is also engaging with nurseries based around Imperial’s other campuses to explore options for access for Imperial staff on preferential terms.
The EYEC was founded in 1970, and continues to provide high quality childcare and education in a stimulating, safe and secure environment. The Centre was classed as Outstanding in its most recent Ofsted rating, with the report noting that children at the EYEC make ‘exceptional progress’.
Imperial offers support with EYEC fees in the form of a salary sacrifice scheme enabling parents to pay fees before tax and national insurance contributions are taken. A reduced fee rate is available for students.
Set across two Victorian townhouses on the College’s South Kensington Campus, the EYEC accommodates children from six months to five years, and has its own garden and sensory room. All staff working directly with children have specialist training, and children benefit from continuity of care.
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.
Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.
Thomas Angus [Photographer]
Communications and Public Affairs
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