Alliance comments on EPI Report on sector pay

Commenting on 'The early years workforce in England', published by the EPI, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“While it’s by now well-established that the first five years of a child’s life are crucial to their long-term development, the professionals who deliver this important care and education are often paid little more than the minimum wage. As such, the findings of this report will sadly come as no surprise to anyone working in the sector.

“EPI is right to highlight these worrying trends and to call on the government to offer childcare practitioners more support, but it is disappointing that this report fails to explicit identify the reason for its concerning findings: wholly inadequate government funding.

“With early years funding levels failing to meet the rising cost of delivering childcare in many areas across the country, it is inevitable that early years practitioners will continue to suffer real term wage losses – and without government action, the current trends are only likely to worsen in the years to come.

“If the government truly wants to support the sector, it must commit to investing what is needed to ensure that the hard-working professionals who make up the early years workforce day are paid a fair wage for what is unquestionably a vital job.”




  • The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England.
  • A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country. The Alliance represents 14,000 member settings and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
  • The Alliance website is 
  • The Alliance’s Fair Future Funding campaign currently has over 7,000 practitioner and parent supporters. 
  • On 18 February 2019, the Pre-school Learning Alliance will be rebranding to the Early Years Alliance.


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