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"sweeping deregulation of nurseries and childminders"(22 Posts)
This is copied and pasted from Xenia's post in the Tax Breaks for Childcare thread in Site stuff (The Times apparently, I can't access it directly because of the pay wall)
"However, details may soon be announced of sweeping deregulation of nurseries and childminders, a move that ministers hope will lead to lower prices. Under the reforms, childminders could be allowed to look after up to five children instead of the current limit of three, and staff ratios at nurseries would be lowered. There are, however, caveats about the type of experience and training required for those allowed to look after more children."
I write as a childcare user, not provider, and I think this is horrible. I am also guessing that CMs won't be thrilled at effectively having to take more kids on to make their wage. Is this right? I think standards will have to fall, no matter how you slice it, and I am finding it all a bit upsetting and very worrying.
Posting this hear to find out what CMs think and if there is any sort of association or professional body who represent CMs formally, who may know more, who may be running any kind of coordinated activity in opposition to it, which I would support.
What does everyone else think?
Ncma (The National Childminding Association) are already opposing this as are others I believe the pre school learning alliance and the national day nurseries may do the same
I won't take on more children, because they won't fit in the car (from a purely practical point of view). One of the attractions of childminders is our low ratios. We have been able to care for up to 5 in exceptional circumstances before, so it is not as drastic a change as it might sound.
I wouldn't personally rush to "recruit" a couple more children just because it was possible, nor would I charge any less per child (would anyone work harder for the same money?). I would however be concerned that some would immediately look to maximise their numbers, and if a lot of local nurseries and childminders did start dropping prices and made it difficult to find or keep business I would look for another job.
What I do think would be sensible and helpful would be a bit more flexibility about short term overlaps in numbers - for example if I had a child for the morning leaving at one, and another wanting to come for the afternoon starting at twelve thirty, as things stand they would take up two places, but practically speaking it would be fine to have an "extra" child for over lunch. I'm not sure how that flexibility would be specified though!
Staff ratios in nurseries being lowered as in having more than 3 under 2's?!
The Telegraph claims that the ratio for under 2's will go up to 1:4, for 2 years olds it will go up to 1:6 and that childminders will be able to take 4 under 5s. See:
However this has not been officially announced yet and the Telegraph has got things wrong before. But they do seem to have some source who is leaking all sorts of plans from the Childcare Commission, so it may well turn out to be true.
"the Telegraph has got things wrong before"
That's a bit of an understatement - the Telegraph has been constantly pumping out speculation and rumour on this subject over the last nine months in the vain hope that one day the information from their "source" may coincide with something that is actually happening.
I suspect this might actually be true (incredibly) if only because I'm on some Mori poll database about childcare somehow and they phoned me three times last year to do an interview about childcare for the DoE apparently and each time they threw in a cou
Sorry iPhone, couple of seemingly random questions about ratios would you be happy to see them go up, are they right etc
I wouldn't take on more children. 3 is a managable (sorry if that is not the correct spelling) I can manage 4 but anymore is a def no no. I do have 5 one day a week but I have my husband registered as my official assistant and we do find it's a lot of children in one space
Same as below. I wouldn't take on any more either, and my charges would stay the same. If I then can't fill the places I will look for another job. I don't see how this move would bring down the cost of childcare at all.
Local authorities have target numbers for available childcare places in their areas. If childminders can at a stroke have 5 under 5 years old instead of three (even if the childminder has no intention of filling those places), does that help them meet those targets, or am I just being cynical?
But surely even if the ratios do change, there are nurseries and childminders that just don't have the space to accommodate any more children?
This is a health and safety issue therefor surely?
The ratio is hard to keep up with as it at the moment talking from a nursery point of view, i work in a 0-16 month room, and 1-3 can be very stressful, as i physically can't care for them all at once, adding one more into the mix is ridiculous
I imagine the big bosses of nurseries will be all for the change but alot of the workers will be up in arms about this.
I am a childminder and i have no intention of taking on more than 3 little ones, or dropping my prices, so I can't see how this is going to make any difference in reality.
It won't happen
You can't have quality and quantity.
It is yet another pie in the sky idea that will lead to yet more backpedalling from this government.
insancerre, I hope you are right and it doesn't happen
What I think often happens is something like this (eg with train travel, nhs care, post office):
standard service subtly degrades in quality over time;
various "premium" services introduced to cash in on the shortfall in quality of the standard service;
Those who can afford it take up the relatively expensive service and benefit from quality that was once considered standard;
everyone else is stuck with shoddy unreliable basic service that would once have been considered too poor to be on the market at all
btw that is in no way a dig at cms or nursery workers, but no matter how good they are, they can't offer good enough care for small children if the ratios are out of control. Little ones need a lot of attention, focus, kindness and rigorously but gently enforced boundaries.
The EYFS 2012 already allows c/ms to up their numbers (page 21) under 'exceptional circumstances' and for short periods of time...in a way this is deregulation via the EYFS
Whether c/ms do this is totally up to them...most are against higher ratio
Increasing the number of under 5s will also mean we have less spaces for the school kids as in total we can only have 6 under 8 children making holiday care problem worse
In the Childcare Commission 'holiday care' was flagged up as an issue to be resolved as the govt wants more places available ...so they are going against their very proposals
PLA and NDNA have come out strongly against higher ratio as have c/ms themselves
It may be proposed but it does not mean we have to jump at the suggestion or that it will be compulsory
More under 5s means less quality and a risk to children but not lower fees
Nurseries and preschools are still bound by the EYFS 12 with regards to their numbers...any changes means a change in the law which will take time
The Telegraph has come out with many articles and plenty of speculation but I think they are close to the truth...hopefully not long now before we hear the proposals
Oh well, it doesn't really address the real problem - the under supply of those who wish to care for children, whether it be at a nursery or as a childminder. Most potential childminders would not be able to afford properties where childcare is expensive regardless of whether their allowed ratio goes up or not. I doubt it will produce a flood of extra places.
This will create a social divide and huge inequalities in provision. Nurseries and playschools in deprived areas which are mostly reliant on state funding through the 15 hours for 3+ and 15 hours for selected 2-3 will have to increase their ratios as their funding won't cover any more. People who are on tight budgets will have to choose CM who take more children and can therefore charge less. Nurseries which mostly cater to the private market and CMs with more affluent clients will be able to keep their ratios as they are and use it as a selling point. So again this will be disadvantaging the poor and those who provide services to people who can't afford higher ratios.
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