Who is looking after our leaders in the Early Years?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the past few weeks I have been constantly joining in Zoom calls, taking emails and most evenings on the telephone talking to professionals from across the Early Years Sector. However, these people all have one thing in common…. They are all owners, leaders and managers of nurseries, nursery schools, playgroups and childminders. All with the same determination that they are doing what they can for the children and the staff.

Yes, that’s right, they are the ones who have stayed up until 1am when the DFE send out changes to Furlough on the website, when making tough decisions to close their doors, furlough staff, close settings or even go without all together. They have an update from the DFE one day and then changes come on the next day. These people, some of them continuing to battle with the constant barrages of changes are continuing to try and keep everything together, when sometimes there isn’t much to keep together. So I felt that I needed to share with you the current situations from the people I have been supporting over the past few weeks.

No one could ever have imagined to be in the position we are in across the Early Years landscape. But, one thing I do know is how the whole of the sector has stood up and risen to the challenge, I am very proud to be a part of this workforce.

I wanted to write this as I myself have been a manager, a leader within the Early Years and one thing that has stood out to me over the past few weeks from my conversations is this:

‘Managers, leaders and owners of the settings that we work in, provide education and care for are ALONE at this present time.

Alone in the sense that they have been for a while, no one to sound off to, no one to send an email to and no one to pick up the phone and ask whether the decisions they are making are the right ones. I have listened to many of these people this week, laugh and cry, say that they can’t cope, having many staff and parents asking lots of questions and being critical of what they are doing. But most of all from what I have seen is that they are determined to protect what they have in the way of a business, livelihoods and school for children and colleagues to come back to. I don’t know about you, but one thing that this pandemic has surely made you think about is people as a whole. Those managers, owners and senior leaders at a time like this, have shown strength and determination. It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past, whether they are your superior or line manager I think it’s time to make a difference and offer something to them. Some of us may already be doing this.

I have been kind and given a listening ear. Will you?

Don’t forget all the cogs in a wheel. We all have a place to make those cogs move.

So this is a short blog, asking you to send your leader an email, a text, a telephone call. Ask them if they are ok. This isn’t about being a line manager or owner, CEO etc, it is about Kindness. Take time out of your week to say





Just a thought piece from the conversations of professionals I have been supporting this week. Just remember that these are people too, have feelings and just like you, may have some elements of heightened stress levels and anxiety and do not always have the answers. We are all in this together.


Aaron Bradbury


1 thought on “Who is looking after our leaders in the Early Years?”

  1. Thanks for this! I’m really lucky, I have a team who are really supportive and my deputy is amazing. I’m also lucky that I have a large network of people in similar positions and we suppet each other fiercely.

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