Mental health and the early years workforce

Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch talks reveals the survey findings Minds Matter report

In April 2018, the Alliance launched its landmark Minds Matter survey, looking at the impact of working in childcare and the early years sector on practitioners' mental health.

More than 2,000 of you responded — including nursery managers, nursery workers and childminders — making it our biggest survey ever. 

The findings revealed:

  • a sector struggling with the impact of excessive paperwork and administration, financial instability due to inadequate government funding, and low pay
  • that most of you are often stressed about work and that work-related mental health issues have had an impact on your personal relationships
  • a quarter of you are thinking about leaving the early years sector entirely.

We're now working with the Department for Education and Ofsted on a joint Early Years Workload project to better understand and address the concerns around workload, and particularly paperwork and administration, raised in our report.

This initiative includes a series of focus groups held across the country, followed by a sector-wide online survey in the spring to ensure that every single practitioner has the opportunity feed back their views on this important issue.

To keep up to date on our latest progress on this, make sure you are following our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Read the full Minds Matter report

Resources for you

Blogs and articles

Happy staff, happy setting (Alliance blog)

Dealing with Stress  — Rob McGeal, policy advisor at the Health and Safety Executive, explains how to mitigate the impact of workplace stress on staff (Under 5 magazine article)

Happy children — taking care of young people's welll being (Alliance blog)

Stretch and unwind — YogaBugs share some ideas about why and how you can bring yoga practices into your setting (Under 5 magazine article)

Publications and mini guides

Setting the record straight  (Under 5 magazine) — A quick guide to keeping records and all the paperwork needed to meet requirements

— Developing effective team work (Publication)

— We have a wide range of publications and resources to support your work in our online shop

— Developing a business plan and budget* — An effective business plan and budget will help you achieve your setting's aims and be financially ready for the future. 

*This is only available to Alliance members and can be downloaded for free from the Business Management section in the Members' Area

Further help

Health and Safety Executive — Work-related stress

MIND — How to Manage Stress

NHS Choices — How to deal with stress and when to ask for help

In the news

Nursery group holds a special day to show appreciation for its nursery practitioners

"There's no time to breathe" — the nursery workers trapped on the minimum wage for life as overtime and targets soar 


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