Raising a concern with your Early Years setting

Raising a concern with your child’s nursery or preschool about gender stereotypes can feel awkward. We’ve pulled together some advice and ideas.

girl in stripy top surrounded by train track

Whether your child attends a nursery, a childminder, a Children’s Centre or any other Early Years setting, all good quality settings try to provide a safe, happy and inclusive environment for your child. Many are receptive to parents’ ideas and want to listen to suggestions of how they might improve.

If you do need to get in touch with your child’s setting, here are some ideas:

Think about how you want to raise the issue, and with whom. The manager may be the best person to approach as they are more likely to be able to influence changes within the setting. A friendly e-mail with brief details of what you would like to discuss will give them time to think about your concerns and how they might improve. You might suggest a follow-up conversation in person or over the phone.

Explain why you think it’s important. There are some ideas in our Why it Matters page. You may want to link your concerns to the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), the Equality Act, British Values curricula or Ofsted expectations of gender equality.

If your concern is about a specific incident – explain what you understand to have happened and allow space for context or additional information. Even if there’s none that adequately explains what happened, this will keep the tone constructive. If you’re raising questions about language or activities that the staff member hasn’t previously considered it can help to allow space for reflection.

If you have general concerns – you could also ask to see a copy of the setting’s equality policy.

In 2015 Megan shared her experience of raising a concern about stereotypes in a school setting – find out what happened.




  1. Laura


    I am thinking of raising a few concerns with my children’s pre-school and school about gender stereotyping. I am a bit nervous about doing so but for me having a blue and pink side of a changing mat is unacceptable and is the final straw. I was wondering if there is any training I could direct them to? I don’t want to create a problem just help them realise the potential harm they may cause using stereotyped assumptions and language. I also can’t seem to access your link to Megan’ story about raising concerns in a school setting in the article above. Is it still available?

    Thank you.

    • Good luck raising the issue of stereotypes with your child’s pre-school Laura. We’ve checked the link to Megan’s story and that should hopefully work for you now.

      We’d suggest directing them to the NUT’s ‘Breaking the Mould’ resource in particular, and also ask whether they saw the ‘No more boys and girls’ documentary on BBC2, which showed lots of educational and social benefits of reducing the emphasis on gender in the classroom. Best of luck – let us know how you got on!

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