Debo Lawal – Early Years Educator Apprentice at LEYF 
National Apprenticeship Week 2023  

Debo is 29 years old and is an Early Years Educator apprentice at London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) in Dulwich. He chose this pathway as it was an opportunity to upskill in his current role and become part of the Men in Childcare programme. 

Debo is supported by his LMP tutor Anita De Villiers who provides a wealth of experience to assist in the pathway towards distinction. He is also assisted by the rest of his cohort in LEYF and LMP Education, providing a unique and tailored learning plan. 
Here is Debo’s apprenticeship journey so far 

“I chose this programme because my employer provided me with an opportunity to upskill myself. The main benefits of an apprenticeship programme are that as you work and study you can gain valuable skills and experience as well as the knowledge aspect from the training provider. You also benefit from sharing your experiences with fellow apprentices and this gives you both the positive the critical and an overall, objective view of what happens or how things operate in practice.  

The best thing about my role is that every is different and there are many laughs, hugs and sometimes challenging situations involving the children.  The most wholesome sound I enjoy hearing at work is when children laugh and sing with me. 

My LMP tutor, Anita De Villiers, was instrumental in me achieving a distinction grade, because she really pushed me whilst also putting me at ease. We had fun while we learned and were able to feel positive about our roles. I have had difficult time during my apprenticeship and I really appreciate how my tutor reassured me, I had just the right level of challenge and growth.  

The skills for life I am learning are being organised, communicating professionally, and working in partnership with the families and colleagues at LEYF. I also feel more confident and competent, and this has had a dynamic effect on me overall. 

My next step in my career is to eventually open a chain or franchise of nurseries under my own new brand which will include books songs and other intellectual property all directed towards serving families and children in early years and education.” 

If you would like to find out more about Apprenticeship and how they can work for you, please contact the LMP Apprenticeships team or visit   

Debo Lawal male in blue shirt