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Alliance chief executive warns early years is a ‘sector in crisis’ 

Annual conference speech criticises plans to change early years ratios 

By Rachel Lawler 

Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch has warned that the early years is a ‘sector in crisis’, in his speech at the charity’s annual conference

Drawing comparisons between the sector and climate change activists, Neil argued that many professions in the early years “relate to that very same frustration”. 

He said: “We’ve been crying out for so long that things need to change, that the sector is in crisis, that we need to act now to ensure we are able to continue to provide the best possible care and education for our children and families, and yet, so little seems to change.” 

Neil also criticised plans to consult on changes to early years ratios in England, due to start later this summer. 

He said: “If implemented, this policy will not only put the quality of care and early education that children receive at risk, but it will also be an enormous backward step in how early years provision is viewed and understood in this country. 

“We are educators. Our job is to build the foundations of learning and development that will shape these children and I don’t mean sharp go-getters who will step over others for money and careers…I mean caring, kind, thoughtful unbiased children that will drive the safety and security of our world. And relaxing ratios threatens our ability to do just that.”