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Pre-school Learning Alliance survey seeks to place professionals 'at the centre of the early years debate'

Article By: Richard Howard, News Editor

An Early Years Agenda survey has been launched by the Pre-school Learning Alliance, that the organisation hopes will produce landmark research on the performance of the early years sector.

Pre-school Learning Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch

Gathering the views of nursery professionals, the survey explores crucial areas of early years policy, including funding, qualifications, childminder agencies, schools and Ofsted, which the Alliance hopes will inform key objectives before the next Westminster Parliament is elected.

As chief executive Neil Leitch comments: “As the UK general elections draw closer, the political focus on childcare and early years continues to intensify. We’ve seen promise after promise and pledge after pledge made to parents about improving the availability and affordability of childcare, but due to a continued lack of any meaningful consultation with the sector, many of these policies are unrealistic, unsustainable and simply unworkable.

“We believe it’s time that practitioners – professionals with the knowledge, experience and passion for early years – are placed at the centre of the early years debate. That’s why we are launching our Early years agenda survey, a chance for all practitioners to share their views on early years policy and the future of the sector. The more responses we receive, the more powerful our message to government, so we are urging as many practitioners as possible to take part.”

Professionals who contribute to the survey will inform the Alliance’s ‘Early years manifesto for government’, which targets three key principles, being: the needs of the child must always be at the centre of all decision-making; policy should be based on an extensive body of evidence, not the personal views of government ministers (or other policy-drivers, such as Ofsted); and that consulting with the early years sector should be the first step of policy development, not the last.

The Early years agenda survey is available at


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