A few minutes with…

Pre-school Learning Alliance Chief Executive Neil Leitch

Hi Neil, tell us a bit about your job
I’m the Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, and I Chair the Board which runs A Better Start Southend. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is a charity which supports more than 800,000 children and their families in England through its membership of more than 14,000 day nurseries, sessional pre-schools, and childminders. We’re also the largest voluntary sector childcare operator in the UK, managing approximately 120 settings in areas of deprivation.

How long have you been working at the Alliance and what does it do?
I’ve been with the Alliance for 17 years and my colleagues and I have strongly lobbied for early intervention, believing all children, regardless of background, deserve the best possible start in life.

Prior to joining the Alliance, I held several senior posts within the commercial environment and also chaired the Finance Industry Standards Association until 2006.

What’s your role with A Better Start Southend?
As Chair of A Better Start Southend’s board of partners I deal with wide range of issues. My primary focus is the implementation of the project’s strategy, which includes monitoring the delivery and achievement of planned outcomes. Fundamentally, I support all partners to work together to reduce inequalities and help narrow the gap in Southend.

What most excites you most about the Southend approach?
One of the Pre-school Learning Alliance’s core principles is that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators, and this ethos also lies at the heart of A Better Start Southend. By supporting parents and families to raise their aspirations and realise their potential by expanding their skills, we are helping to transform the outcomes of the next generation and improve life for everyone in the community.

What are your passions outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren. There is nothing more rewarding than watching them grow and develop into happy, healthy young people and I’m very proud to play such an active role in their lives.


For more information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit www.pre-school.org.uk/.


Article published March 2017