Founder(s): Brett Wigdortz & Stephanie Leung
This platform, called tiney, is behind a new generation of childminders, helping to drive up the standards of early years education for children. Behind the initiative is Brett Wigdortz, who founded and led TeachFirst for 15 years. Brett’s realisation that the education gap takes root before children even start school is what drove him to launch childminding agency tiney in 2018.
By the age of 5, there’s already a 4.3 month development gap between disadvantaged children and their better-off peers. This gap persists right through a child’s education. To attract the talented educators which early years so desperately need, and to transform the reputation of the profession, tiney trains up childminders with a focus on pedagogical care.
During lockdown they transitioned their entire training programme to a virtual model, allowing them to continue to train up new childminders. Demand has only increased since the pandemic broke out. Since March, they’ve received over 12,000 applications to train with them.
Newly qualified childminders are also then supported in setting up their own ‘micro nurseries’. The network of home-run nurseries is ever-growing across London and the UK, and it’s answering to the desperate need for more flexible, local wraparound childcare services.
Increasing numbers of traditional nurseries are closing their doors, and 46% of mothers and pregnant women have said that closures were a contributing factor in their redundancy during the pandemic. Plus, parents are starting to work remotely on a more permanent basis. tiney has now received over 24,000 applications to train with them since March.
All this means that new childcare options are more important than ever, and tiney is helping to fill that void whilst closing the education gap.