Alliance comments on Institute of Education report on childcare

24th July 2015

Commenting on the UCL Institute of Education (IoE) report on ‘Provision and use of preschool childcare in Britain’, which warned that low pay in the childcare sector could lead to staff shortages in the future, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“Despite significant improvements in qualification levels over recent years, pay in the early years sector remains extremely low. This is creating real challenges for childcare providers when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff — particularly practitioners with higher qualifications, many of whom are increasingly opting to establish careers in the better-paid primary sector instead. For far too long, the sector has survived on the good will of practitioners working long hours for minimal pay — and often for free — but this is simply not sustainable in the long term.”

“With the new ‘National Living Wage’ set to come into effect next April, wage pressures are unlikely to abate any time soon. It’s absolutely vital, then, that the government funds the sector at a level that ensures that providers are able to both attract and retain experienced, capable early years staff, especially in light of plans to double the free entitlement offer for eligible three- and four-year-olds.”

For further information or to interview, Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance please contact:
Shannon Hawthorne
Pre-school Learning Alliance
T: 020 7697 2503
E: Shannon Hawthorne


Notes for editors

  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website:

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