The new educational tech venture aims to provide the best advice and resources around child development and educational play from birth to five years old, while also building a supportive online community of parents.

Jennie Johnson MBE launched the My First Five Years app to provide support and advice for parents with young children.

Harnessing the combined 50+ years’ experience in the childcare sector of Jennie and her co-founder, Alistair Bryce-Clegg, it focuses on six streams of learning, including cognitive, gross motor and fine motor development, at each appropriate age stage. The aim is to allow a child to develop at their own pace with support and encouragement, with features including chronological scrapbook tools for parents to save and share memories of their child’s early years and an online library for those who wish to deepen their learning about childhood development.

Ready for launch

With the backing of sustainable finance from Triodos Bank UK, plus seed funding and finance from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority fund, the app launched in January 2022.

This is the second time that Triodos Bank has worked with Jennie. In 2018, the bank financed the expansion of Kids Allowed, a children’s nursery group based in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, which she founded in 2003.

“Traditionally, parenting skills simply get handed down with each generation, but actually understanding the science and research behind their development could play a much greater role in offering the best start in life for our children,” explains Jennie.

“Our aim for the app is to pass on the knowledge that we have gained over years of experience to help a greater number of parents – especially first-time parents – overcome some of the anxiety that they often feel and to marvel in the moments, not just the milestones.”

Rob Keegan, business banking regional manager for the North of England at Triodos Bank UK, says: “Triodos recognises the importance of offering the best start in life for all children, and has provided finance for a range of education settings, from special education schools to nurseries.

“We’re pleased to be working with Jennie once again, to help her bring her specialist knowledge and understanding of children’s development to a much wider audience.”

The My First Five Years app gives advice and resources around child development and educational play from birth to five years old.

The app will have a range of monthly subscription options but is currently free to all users who download by the Summer of 2022. The company are also looking to work with charity partners to facilitate free access to parents on low incomes, ensuring that all parents are able to benefit from the knowledge available.

Jennie adds: “We are thrilled to be able to share our 50+ years of early years experience with parents and hope that the impact of the app won’t just be felt by the parents and children using it, but that the knowledge will be passed down to future generations.

The My First Five Years app is available to download via the App Store.

Why we finance early years education

Good education is fundamental to human development. We believe everybody should be entitled to a proper education and be able to continue it throughout their life. The other organisations we finance in this sector include schools and conference centres.

Find out more