Healthy Early Years Manager
Healthy Early Years London at Greater London Authority
Liz Prosser B.Ed (Honours) M.Sc. My career began as a Physical Education teacher in Secondary schools and then in Special Education. I then developed ‘Exercise Enterprise’ a programme of exercise classes for children and adults aged 2 to 82! Later, as Development Officer for the Association for Physical Education (AfPE), I developed and managed the Physical Education Association (PEA) Certificate in Exercise and Health Studies as a national training programme for Exercise Instructors. Eventually, returning to education as a Physical Education Adviser for the London Borough of Barnet for many years, I ran the National Healthy Schools Programmes for both London Boroughs of Barnet and Hackney, respectively from 2000-2009. I was then seconded to the Department of Health as Delivery Manager for Physical Activity in the Obesity Team and led on the development of new UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines for under-fives, (Start Active, Stay Active 2011). Additionally, management of Healthy Towns, the Department of Communities and Local Government Spatial Planning Review and Department for Transport Cycling and Walking programmes fell under my wing. In 2011, following the demise of the National Healthy Schools Programme, the Greater London Authority appointed me to co-design, develop and manage Healthy Schools London to improve the health and wellbeing of school age children. We now have over 80% of London’s schools taking part. In 2016, to support the Mayor of London’s Health Inequalities Strategy (2018) and key ambition to give every London child the best start in life, I led on the design, development and delivery of the Mayor’s new Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) programme. This involved creating a new city-wide approach to improving the health, wellbeing and development of infants and children under five, in childcare, including those in deprived communities. In collaboration with colleagues from health and education, we devised a new industry standard-an incentive-based awards scheme and self-evaluation framework for childcare providers to create healthy environments involving children, staff, carers and families. This would, also help settings to improve practice and achieve their Ofsted outcomes. After two years of consultation and development, the Mayor successfully launched Healthy Early Years London in October 2018 and now has over 870 nurseries, children centres, pre-schools, play groups, creche, childminders taking part in 97% of London’s boroughs, including all boroughs with the poorest child outcomes. The HEYL programme is supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities, which has funded the first-year evaluation of HEYL. I am, currently, an Expert Adviser for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and formerly a member of the (NICE) Physical Activity and the Environment Professional Development Group in 2007/8. Additionally, I have been an advisor for the British Heart Foundation Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Early Years Advisory Group and the International Physical Literacy Association Early Years Advisory Group.