Mental Health and Wellbeing Spotlight

Our new Mental Health and Wellbeing Spotlight brings together information, advice and guidance in one place to help you support your own mental health as well as the children and families in your provision. We will regularly update this page as new resources and support measures become available for practitioners in England and Wales. 

PACEY's research

Earlier this summer, PACEY conducted a piece of research to better understand mental health and wellbeing in our sector. Thank you to over 1,500 of you who took part in our survey and shared your experiences with us to help us build a picture of this important issue.  

Given the impact of the last few years it was concerning, although not unsurprising, to learn that half of respondents have noticed a decline in their mental health since the COVID-19 pandemic. We also asked for your views on the wellbeing of children in your settings. Those of you who reported a decline in child mental health and wellbeing said this most commonly manifested as increased separation anxiety, behavioural changes, lack of confidence and anxiety, mirroring findings from the wealth of other research published during and after the pandemic. 

Read the results in full

​Supporting mental health

PACEY members can access a range of resources in MyPACEY to help support the mental health of children in your setting.

Personal, social and emotional development in the early years: a handbook for practitioners: We were delighted to contribute to this practical guide published in September 2022. It was developed by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families to help early years practitioners to support the healthy PSED of children in your setting. Download the handbook to read helpful advice and take part in reflective activities. 

For lots more information and downloadable links to help you support the children in your setting, visit PACEY's dedicated Early Minds Matter Spotlight.

Supporting families

It is clear from our research that practitioners often play a major role in supporting the wider family - whether offering a listening ear, parenting advice and guidance or signposting to other support. The current cost of living crisis is affecting businesses and families alike. Lots of you said you've been offering financial advice to parents too. We have listed two resources which you may find useful to talk to the families in your setting cope with money concerns.

Support for practitioners

It is vital to look after your own wellbeing as an early years and childcare practitioner.

PACEY is constantly reviewing our membership to ensure it supports you in the best way possible across all areas of your business, including your wellbeing. All PACEY members who are childminders, nannies, or have Manager membership can access a free counselling service as part of their membership. 

Remember that as a PACEY member you also have access to our PACEY Advisors for one-to-one practice support and reassurance. If you would like to chat through any practice-related issues or concerns, please give them a call.

PACEY Live webinar: Why is mental health such a hot topic?

Victoria Sedgwick, a Tigerlily mental health first aid trainer discusses strategies for your mental health.

Are you too stressed? How much stress is too much? Use this short quiz to measure your stress levels - Stress Level Test (Self-Assessment)*

*This quiz for your own use and reflection, neither PACEY or Victoria can see your results. 

If you are concerned about your stress levels or any other mental health issue you should see you GP.  

Get help with stress and more about mental health from the NHS.


Lots of you flagged dealing with perimenopause and menopause symptoms as a contributor to negative mental health in your job. The Menopause Charity has lots of advice and information which you may find useful.

In the spring issue of Childcare Professional magazine two PACEY members shared their experiences in the article ‘Menopause: a hot topic’.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, PACEY's Information, Advice and Guidance Manager, Angela Gamble reflects on her own experience in the Blog: Menopause matters.

Regulation and inspection

Our recent research highlighted that regulatory inspections continue to be a point of concern for some of you. Please find below a list of resources to support you to prepare for inspections and navigate these with confidence.

View all our Ofsted and CIW resources in MyPACEY

External signposts

Cost of living

It’s evident that increased cost of living is having a significant impact on early years and childcare practitioners’ wellbeing. In our survey, almost 70% of you said that cost of living increases is having the biggest impact on your mental health and wellbeing. 

PACEY is working hard urging Government in England and Wales to go further in supporting the sector with increased costs. In the meantime, we have highlighted below a range of resources, advice and guidance to help you to manage increased cost of living.

How can I manage increase costs?

Read our latest blog for an overview of ways that PACEY members are coping with rising business costs. This covers measures like increasing fees, making use of existing support available to you, and useful money-saving and budgeting 'hacks'.

PACEY members can access a range of financial and business advice in MyPACEY including:

Remember that as a PACEY member you have access to the legal helpline and business resources area for help with different contractual and legal issues that might arise.

What kind of support is available?

The Government developed a Help for Households campaign outlining what kind of support is available in the UK to support with rising costs. This includes detail on household costs, income support, and signposting to businesses offering discounts and offers.

Energy Bills support

The UK Government announced plans to support people affected by rising energy costs. All households will automatically receive a £400 discount on their energy bills this year. In addition to this the Government announced two new plans this autumn to support households and business with rising energy costs:

  • Support for households is available via the Energy Price Guarantee scheme until 31 March 2023* (this will benefit home-based practitioners such as childminders).

  • Support for non-domestic customers in the UK (such as nurseries and other businesses) is available via the Energy Bill Relief scheme until 31 March 2023, when it is replaced by the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (in place 1 April 2023 - 31 March 2024).

*Update: With the appointment of a new Chancellor, the Government announced the Energy Price Guarantee will now only be in place until 31 March 2023. A Treasury-led review will be launched to consider how to support households with energy bills after this time.

Additional funding available is available in Wales to help towards paying fuel bills: Wales fuel support scheme: 2022 to 2023

Find ways to save energy in your home: This online GOV.UK service is available for households in England and Wales to suggest ways to improve the energy efficiency in your home. 

Share your voice

PACEY continues to work hard lobbying Government in England and Wales for increased investment and support for the sector. Your personal stories, insight and experiences are vital in helping us get across to Government to call for more support. Please continue to share these with us so that we can represent you in our meetings with Government departments.

We know that the ongoing financial pressures caused by increased costs, underfunding and other pressures are affecting all kinds of early years and childcare providers, and we are keen to see this reflected in media reports. You might wish to share your story in press articles like this one.