Alliance teams up with DfE and Ofsted to tackle early years workload pressures

News - 14 Feb 2019

Leading early years organisation the Pre-school Learning Alliance has announced a joint project with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted to explore workload pressures currently facing the early years workforce, and how best to address them.

The project comes as the result of a large-scale survey carried out by the Alliance in 2018 into mental health and wellbeing in the early years, which revealed that paperwork and administration were the main source of stress for childcare practitioners.

The Minds Matter survey, which received over 2000 responses, also found that:

  • 61% of respondents didn’t feel that they had a good work-life balance.
  • 74% had regularly felt stressed about work or an issue relating to work over the previous month.
  • 25% had considered leaving the early years sector due to stress and mental health difficulties.

The primary aim of the joint project is to identify both areas where pressures could be reduced, and areas where misconceptions about what is required may be creating unnecessary work for the workforce.

As part of this initiative, the Alliance – working with the DfE and Ofsted – will be running a series of focus groups over the coming month to gather views of practitioners from across the early years sector on current workload demands. 

Practitioners who would like to take part in a focus group can register their interest at

The Alliance will also publish a sector-wide online survey in the spring to give all practitioners the opportunity to share their views on current pressures.

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