Who we are

Our story

Our journey started in 1961 with a young London mother, Belle Tutaev, who wrote to The Guardian explaining how in the absence of a state nursery place for her young daughter, she had set up a group of her own. The response from other parents was overwhelming. Many other parents experienced similar problems and had also set up their own groups.

Within a year, Belle and other parents had rallied 150 members together and organised the first Annual General Meeting of the Pre-school Playgroups Association (as we were previously known).

In May 1963, the Alliance gained official charity status and has championed the voice of the early years sector ever since.

Today, we are a national education charity and the largest early years membership organisation in England, representing the interests of 14,000 Alliance members who deliver care and learning to over 800,000 families every year.

We also directly manage a range of children’s services — mainly in deprived areas.