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Childcare ratios: Lib Dems to veto planned changes

(119 Posts)
SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 09-May-13 08:01:37

Morning everyone,

For those of you who've been following the campaign to persuade the government to roll back on its proposed reforms to adult-child ratios for childcarers, we have good news. It was announced on Newsnight last night that Nick Clegg has told the Conservative party he will block the planned changes to ratios, which were expected to be brought in in September.

Due to opposition across the boards to the relaxation of the ratios - particularly evident in the recent webchat with Childcare Minister Liz Truss - Mumsnet gave its backing to the Pre-School Learning Alliance's Rewind on Ratios campaign, which called for the Government to scrap its plans and to undertake a full consultation with practitioners and parents on future proposals. The announcement from the Lib Dems looks like the first step in that direction.

Justine appeared on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning to explain Mumsnetters' opposition to the changes, saying: "There is a general feeling on our website that it will have a bad impact on the quality of provision. When we surveyed our members, only 5% said they would be happy to accept a relaxation of ratios, even if it meant lower costs" - which pretty much sums it up. Thanks to all of you who signed the petition: your support made a difference!

MNHQ x

Crumblemum Thu 09-May-13 08:07:38

This is such good news. We must avoid a two tier system where only those who can afford to get to use nurseries with good ratios. And, as if savings would ever have reached parents.

Whole different conversation on why govt can't organise a fine wine party in a vineyard, but for now think this is good news.

natwebb79 Thu 09-May-13 08:16:11

Such good news. Well worth the few seconds it took to sign the petition.

MousyMouse Thu 09-May-13 08:23:36

good news.
the current ratio is good and the envy of friends in forrinland.
one friend (sadly has no other choice) has her child in a nursery were in one group are 24 children, aged 3 months to 6 years, with only 3 staff.

I like the fact that my dc get plenty of cuddles at nursery because it is possible! would be horrific for staff as well not to be able to be close to the dc all the time.

AmandinePoulain Thu 09-May-13 08:25:37

Good news, let's just hope he sticks to it and it doesn't go the way of tuition fees hmm.

TiredyCustards Thu 09-May-13 08:29:50

I'll believe it when I see it Nick!

NotTreadingGrapes Thu 09-May-13 08:40:09

Yeah, cos Nick Clegg never does a U turn does he?

The Human Horseshoe, that's our Nick.

I can also second what Mousy said. Nurseries here have 1 teacher, 25 kids aged 2-6.

LineRunner Thu 09-May-13 08:40:34

Liberal Democrat MPs and their representatives in the LGA are well aware of the Mumsnet campaign. Such influence!

Xenia Thu 09-May-13 09:00:34

Not all mumsnetters oppose increased ratios. Let the market decide. It usually knows best.We need much much mess regulation and interference and instead the government is proposing pointless nationality checks forced on landlord. It is becoming the Government of overregulation.

MadCap Thu 09-May-13 09:17:32

Excellent news.

Yeh, I caught Newsnight last night too and thought this was all very interesting. I started a thread afterwards in "In the News" at 23.05 last night as I thought we needed a thread to discuss and celebrate these encouraging developments. But no-one seems to have seen it sad

At the most extreme the government could be brought down by opposition to changes in child-care ratio's, which would be pretty big news for Mumsnet I thought ! That would be if this caused serious issues for the stability of the coalition.

As a pre-school practitioner/ nursery teacher I think our ratio's are one thing we're getting right in this country regarding the early years experience for our children. I was one of the 11,000 to sign against the proposed changes.

What Crumble said!

moogy1a Thu 09-May-13 09:46:03

Xenia Not all mumsnetters oppose increased ratios. Let the market decide. It usually knows best"

Judging from the responses to the thread I'd say 99% is pretty much all!!

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1671192-To-think-change-in-childcare-ratios-will-lower-childcare-standards

Xenia Thu 09-May-13 09:49:56

I did not see that thread so you can reduce the 99% below that for a start.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 09-May-13 09:55:41

Fantastic news!

Xenia - you only have to look at the vastly uneven standards of childcare provision in the US to see what deregulation brings.

WillSantaComeAgain Thu 09-May-13 09:58:02

The thread asking whether the changes in childcare will lower standards is a slightly different question to what moogy said (not all mumsnetters oppose increased ratios). The point of fact remains that that childcare costs are crippling in this country, so what would you suggest is done about it?

I was (am) in a real dilemna about it - from January next year, childcare costs are going to outweight one of our salaries, in effect meaning we will be paying to go to work. So which is better? DC being at home with a parent that really doesn't want to be a SAHP or DC being at a nursery where the ratios have increased?

I really don't know the answer to that - I know that standards at the nursery would be lower with higher ratios, but what if that environment is still better than the alternative?

State funded childcare isn't the answer - so solutions please???

LowLevelWhinging Thu 09-May-13 10:02:39

that is great news, but yes, I'll believe it when I see it.

Snazzynewyear Thu 09-May-13 10:16:54

A cynical person might speculate that, if the govt have decided they want to back down on this now or that there isn't time to get this particular bit of legislation through, Clegg can be 'allowed' to oppose it in the knowledge that it won't now be happening anyway, as another attempt at making him look like he actually has a backbone.

LineRunner Thu 09-May-13 10:18:58

I was on such rubbish wages when I was working, and ExH had left, and the DCs were small, that I qualified for nearly 80% childcare tax credits.

Today I would not even have that cushion.

It's the real problem with England - either be very impoverished in some way, or very rich. If you are somewhere in the middle (and female), you're fu**ed.

xenia I count you as being exceptional, and not the rule, by the way.

Limelight Thu 09-May-13 10:47:08

Good news!

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 09-May-13 11:14:06

JugglingFromHereToThere

Yeh, I caught Newsnight last night too and thought this was all very interesting. I started a thread afterwards in "In the News" at 23.05 last night as I thought we needed a thread to discuss and celebrate these encouraging developments. But no-one seems to have seen it sad

At the most extreme the government could be brought down by opposition to changes in child-care ratio's, which would be pretty big news for Mumsnet I thought ! That would be if this caused serious issues for the stability of the coalition.

As a pre-school practitioner/ nursery teacher I think our ratio's are one thing we're getting right in this country regarding the early years experience for our children. I was one of the 11,000 to sign against the proposed changes.

Sorry your thread wasn't picked up, Juggling. But thanks so much for being so on the ball last night!

ShadeofViolet Thu 09-May-13 12:26:47

It will be great if Clegg sticks to his guns.

All it would have meant is bigger profits for childcare companies, while compromising child safety.

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 09-May-13 12:28:21

MNHQ thank you, thank you, thank you smile saw Justine being quoted in the Guardian just now and then came here to look for the thread.

Well done all vipers for being so clear on the webchat too.

Xenia, unless I'm wrong, I remember you don't actually have a child under 5 at the moment and your children didn't use nurseries under preschool age. I don't think you would have had them in a nursery with the proposed ratios as babies, would you?

Phineyj Thu 09-May-13 12:47:13

xenia, have you heard of market failure? Childcare is a classic example.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 12:48:38

I'm really pleased to hear this - I'm sure most parents and early years workers will be too!

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