Alliance launches landmark early years mental health survey

Leading early years membership organisation the Pre-school Learning Alliance has today launched a landmark survey seeking practitioner views on issues impacting mental health in the early years.

The online survey gives those in the sector the opportunity to give their views on what impact, if any, working in the early years has had on their stress levels and mental wellbeing.

The results of the survey will be revealed at the Alliance’s annual member conference, which this year is taking place on Friday 1 June in London and will focus on the mental health and wellbeing of both children and practitioners in the early years sector.

Commenting on the survey, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“As a society, we’re more open than ever about talking about mental health – and rightly so. And yet, while much research has been done on the impact of working in the primary and secondary education sectors, and in particular, the impact of workload on the mental health of teachers over recent years, there has to date been very little focus on how working in the early years sector can affect practitioners’ mental health and wellbeing. 

“Underfunding, Ofsted inspections, high workload and poor pay are just some of the challenges facing the early years workforce today – and while it is of course vital to continue campaigning on a sector-wide basis on issues of concern, we at the Alliance believe that it is equally important that the needs of individual practitioners, and the impact that working conditions in the sector may be having on their mental and emotional wellbeing, aren’t overlooked.

“As such, we hope that this landmark survey will prompt a long overdue discussion on what is a vital issue, and are encouraging as many practitioners as possible to take part.”

The survey is available at and will close at 5pm on Friday 11 May. All individual responses will be completely anonymous and confidential.


  • The 2018 annual Alliance member conference - Minds matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the early years - will take place on Friday 1 June 2018 at the Hilton London Bankside in Southwark, London, SE1 0UG.
  • Keynotes speakers at the event will be Alastair Campbell, author and political aide; Amanda Spielman, Ofsted chief inspector; Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes, senior lecturer in early childhood education; and Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
  • More information on the event is available at


  • 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