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Alliance thanks early years sector

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Dear colleagues

I hope you, your colleagues, your families and your loved ones are well and coping in these uniquely difficult times.

I wanted to write to you all to express my heartfelt gratitude and admiration for all you as providers have done over the past few weeks.

For those of you who have remained open to vulnerable children and key worker families, I do not underestimate the stress, anxiety and in some cases, fear that doing so may have caused you and your colleagues. I know that often media reports focus on the efforts of NHS workers or, in the case of the education sector, schools – but the dedication that the early years sector has shown during this difficult period is just as commendable. 

For those of you who have taken the difficult decision to close, I know that this would not have been taken lightly and that you have taken the steps you needed to take to safeguard your businesses, and ensure that you will be able to continue delivering places to your families in the long term.

In all my years working at the Alliance, I have never been prouder of the early years sector. News reports may focus on parent fees and charges, and attempt to portray the sector in a negative light, but we know that this is an unfair, over-simplistic and reductive depiction of providers working hard to support families while remaining sustainable.

We are in an unprecedented situation, and one that nurseries, pre-schools and childminders across the country have responded to so admirably. Whether by delivering care to those families who need it, supporting them to continue their early learning at home, or keeping in contact to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those more vulnerable children in your care, you are providing an invaluable service to their local communities at a time when they need it the most.

I’m very conscious that ‘thank yous’ and ‘well dones’ don’t pay the bills, and that when it comes to financial sustainability, these are particularly worrying times. I hope you know that the Alliance is working tirelessly on your behalf, and is in regular discussions with the Department for Education and the Treasury to fight for the support – financial and otherwise – that you need to get through this period.

But while this work continues behind the scenes, I did want to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and to say ‘well done’. Because all too often, we take the work of early years providers and practitioners for granted. And now, more than ever, it’s vital that we recognise the amazing things that the sector is doing. 

I hope over the Easter Weekend you are able to get the chance to catch your breath, spend time with your loved ones, and feel proud of all you’ve have achieved and continue to achieve.

Thank you again.


Neil Leitch
Chief executive, Early Years Alliance