Clare Bligh 
Manager Leeds Early Years Association 

I have worked at LEYA since 2004 when my own daughter attended Headingley Preschool and haven’t looked back since. I absolutely love being part of such a wonderful and inclusive charity that strives to deliver excellence in all it does.

I studied for my Playwork degree alongside working part time as an Early Years Practitioner and when I graduated in 2005 I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the managers position of which I was successful.  During my time as the manager at Headingley Preschool I moved the setting to Shire Oak Primary School Site and  increased the hours to offer full days. Following the move to Shire Oak  we secured a partnership with Headingley Children’s Centre . Since then we have established ourselves as the Early Years Provider at Shire Oak Primary School.

In 2012 I reduced hours to start home educating my daughter Leah who now studies at Leeds Arts University. Ellen joined the management team as my job share and with a shared vision we continued to grow the charity,  achieving Outstanding at our OFSTED inspection. 

Due to circumstances beyond our control we had to relocate our new setting to Meanwood. I am now working as the manager of the organisation with a drive to develop the ‘Association’ aspect of our charity and reach out to the wider EY community to share our excellent practice, deliver training, offer consultacy and make a change to womens pay and conditions in the sector through campaigning and networking!