Alliance warns of the impact of a national living wage increase on the early years sector

Commenting on today's announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase the national living wage and expand it to workers from age 21, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said: 

“A rise in the national living wage is fantastic for younger workers, but for the early years sector, this could be an additional cost that many providers will not be able to afford to bear. Pay differentials across the sector are so marginal that an increase in the national living wage often means that all staff within a childcare setting have to get a pay rise.

“A few weeks ago, the Chancellor announced an extra £66 million in 2020 for early years education against a funding shortfall that currently stands at £662 million. We warned at the time that any national living wage increase would all but wipe out the extra funding, and today’s announcement confirms that money given with one hand has now been taken away with another. There is no doubt that childcare professionals deserve a pay rise, but without proper funding of the government’s flagship childcare schemes, this will inflict significant damage on the early years sector and there will be further closures.”


About the Alliance

  • The Early Years 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 members 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