Brilliant news re ratios!

(53 Posts)
libertyflip Wed 05-Jun-13 19:23:18
HSMMaCM Wed 05-Jun-13 20:21:36

Good news for children

debduck Wed 05-Jun-13 20:30:18

good news for staff! Brilliant. stupid idea in the first place.

colafrosties Wed 05-Jun-13 22:50:21


sportivod Wed 05-Jun-13 22:56:56

The government (whoever they happen to be at the time) have a very simple way to dramatically reduce the cost of childcare to parents, but they have no intention of ever doing so, as they care more about their own income and only pretend to be interested in the cost to parents to get a few cheap votes. Of course, the simplest thing they could do is to make all, qualified child care costs tax deductible. In the US they have loads of things that are deductible from gross income (eg mortgage, child care, charitable giving and many other sensible things). The result is that no-one is disadvantaged because they contribute to the economy and so more mothers work, more homes are owned, more is given to charity etc. Our governments never address this issue, or even acknowledge that such a thing could be possible, as the initial loss of tax revenue would be considered too great. If they implemented such a scheme on a gradual basis it would massively stimulate the economy and bring working families back above water level.

BackforGood Wed 05-Jun-13 22:59:27

Good to hear of politicians actually listening to what the public think on this occasion smile

ItsAllTLAsToMe Wed 05-Jun-13 23:04:11

Really good news smile.

Elquota Wed 05-Jun-13 23:04:14

Great news! Thank goodness for that!

Agree HSM, this is good news for children.
Like many other Mumsnetters working with young children even though I might possibly have benefitted if these proposals had gone ahead (as a qualified graduate deemed able to look after more children I might have been in more demand by employers) the price would have been too high - in terms of reduced quality of care for the children and increased stress for the staff. However as a spokeswoman for the sector says if they'd like to go ahead with plans to raise the status and skill of the workforce we aren't against those proposals - this just wasn't the right way to achieve those things. An increase in pay would also be welcome to reflect the return on investment provided by this sector in terms of both social and economic benefits. Research has shown this is x6 for every £1 invested because of increased life prospects when children grow up and decreased criminality.

Good news for parents and children and further proof (were any needed) that this government cannot find their arse with both hands and a GPS system.

libertyflip Thu 06-Jun-13 06:37:10

Won't sully the thread with a link, but the Pit of Doom is blaming Mumsnet and reckons that Nick Clegg changed his mind after 'private talks with figures of Mumsnet'.

If this is true, thank you, thank you so much. I have worked with babies and two year olds for twenty years, and have more qualifications than you can shake a stick at, and know beyond any doubt that this would have been an epic disaster.

Today my key group of four (that's FOUR Ms Truss!) glorious two year olds are cooking...that just wouldn't be safe or possible with six!

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 06-Jun-13 06:43:13

Wonderful news and thank you so do much MNHQ smile

insancerre Thu 06-Jun-13 07:20:28

we won!!!!!!!!!!!
this was one of the worst ideas ever
and their reasoning was full of holes

alienbanana Thu 06-Jun-13 08:11:54

I did a little cheer when I read this grin

nannynick Thu 06-Jun-13 08:53:58

Looking at the amendenet to childcare bill, Wed 5 June, the 1:13 ratio will still apply in some cases:

Where there is registered early years provision, which operates between 8 am and 4 pm, and a member of staff with Qualified Teacher status, Early Years Professional status or other full and relevant level 6 qualification is working directly with the children, for children aged three and over—
(a) the ratio of staff to children must be no less than one to 13; and
(b) at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification.

It also applies in a maimtained nursery (so a state nursery). I think that if a school opens a nursery class, then that is a maintained nursery but if a provider opens a nursery/pre-school on a school site but runs independently, then that is not a maintained nursery.

That's interesting nannynick and could mean more recognition for those of us with higher qualifications, which hopefully could be good for everyone. I think the higher ratio of children to adults is less of an issue with the over 3's than the changes which were being proposed for younger children. I've worked in Nursery classes in schools where we got by fairly happily with 2 staff and 26 children - and especially where I worked in a double unit with 4 staff (2 teachers, 2 nursery nurses) and 52 children. Was busy and lively though - but I was young and energetic then !

Minifingers Thu 06-Jun-13 09:18:53

The cynic in me is wondering if this was always going to happen - a sort of underhand plan to boost Nick Clegg's popularity, like the sort of strategy thought up by characters in 'The Thick of It'. Because the policy was so stupid and ill thought out and researched in the first place you can't believe they ever actually meant it to become law. On the other hand - the bedroom tax.......

nannynick Thu 06-Jun-13 09:33:57

Juggling I agree. It can work, if none are in nappies. If children are not dry during the day then it's harder. When I did preschool it was tricky at times on 1:8 ratio, so would nursery schools refuse to take children who were not dry during the day?
When you worked in nursery class, was that ever an issue, or is it in reality a non issue?

ssd Thu 06-Jun-13 09:36:14

MN at its best...looking out for our kids

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 06-Jun-13 09:39:26

Good news indeed. smile

jonsimsy Thu 06-Jun-13 09:49:35

Bad news for the working parent, I was hoping this would have given me the choice to return to work but still will be unable to afford it, hope my children wont suffer too much due to financial hardships for too long, thanks

But jons from what I've read most people who looked at these proposals came to the conclusion that any cost savings were unlikely to be passed on to parents ?

I think what's needed is more investment in early years by government. It's a real win-win opportunity for everyone, with both social and economic rewards both immediately and for the next generation. So, personally I can't see why governments don't get behind this area more whole-heartedly and radically. I think the Labour government did to some extent with it's investment in Children's Centres. So sad to see that initiative often not being built on but subject to austerity cuts.

Hope things work out well for you with opportunities to return to work.

olgaga Thu 06-Jun-13 10:01:28

jons the reason it's been abandoned is because it would never have achieved what it was supposed to achieve - which was to make childcare more affordable.

Well done Mumsnet grinthanks

PirateMonkey Thu 06-Jun-13 10:01:48

What a relief! Well done for campaigning against this MNHQ!

nannynick - I think for some time nursery classes would not want to, nor be able to, discriminate by saying that children must be dry during the day in order to attend sessions. I'd say it doesn't need to be a big issue, though you can certainly feel stretched at times with 2 staff and 26 young children !

alienbanana Thu 06-Jun-13 10:12:30

I can't image any saving would ever have been passed on to parents though. It really didn't make any sense to me at all. Very relieved it's not going to happen.

BarbiesBeaver Thu 06-Jun-13 10:23:42

Big relief here -thanks to everyone who put pressure on to stop the ridiculous proposal.

ShadeofViolet Thu 06-Jun-13 10:24:28

Excellent news.

projectbabyweight Thu 06-Jun-13 10:28:32

Really pleased about this smile

tourdefrance Thu 06-Jun-13 10:41:24

Great news

jonsimsy Thu 06-Jun-13 11:24:13

At least this has got people talking and hopefully thinking of ways to reduce childcare costs as something needs to be done, benefits reduced to assist with costs for working parents or cuts to ofsted or other red tape causing groups, from my experience of childcare, workers spend that much time appeasing regulators that the real issue of childcare is often missed

TravelHappy Thu 06-Jun-13 11:50:41

I keep hearing that "there is a consensus" that cost savings wouldn't be passed on to parents from this proposal but I haven't seen any explaination for this. The lady on BBC breakfast said that staff costs are 70% of total costs for nurserys. So if the country was to start subsidisng nurseries by say removing employer NI contributions thus reducing staff cost, would that also not be passed on to parents? I don't think I'm qualified to say whether the ratios are approriate or not but as someone with an economics background the issue of cost pass through just doesn't seem to stack up.

alienbanana Thu 06-Jun-13 12:19:25

I don't know about the NI contributions, but weren't they justifying the lower ratios by saying that staff would be more qualified and so presumably more expensive?

Assumption based, yes -but when have you ever known companies to actually reduce costs like this smile

nannynick Thu 06-Jun-13 13:03:16

Many staff are low paid. Half are not qualified. Government wanted higher qualifications. So whilst number of children rises staff salaries also rise.
I think that overall it would make little difference to childcare cost. Quality was said to be better which may be the case with 3+ year olds but Under3s dont need education they need care. Less people to cuddle them, does not equal higher quality does it?

A lot of the ratio discussion was about childminders. Their high costs are things like food, resources, transport. More children under age 5 means more cost in equipment such as buggies, carseats, highchairs and resources. More cost for taking them on trips out.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 06-Jun-13 13:09:27

good news!

GuffSmuggler Thu 06-Jun-13 13:13:11

FANTASTIC NEWS!! Well done mumsnet!

Minifingers Thu 06-Jun-13 13:14:03

I think the conviction that savings would not be passed on to parents is rooted in the fact that at present nurseries are not very profitable businesses. From the Guardian 2012:

^Almost two-thirds (63%) of group-based childcare providers made a profit or surplus over the past year. One in 10 (11%) broke even, and about a quarter (24%) made a loss. Yet six out of 10 of the childcare providers who made any profit earned less than £10,000 a year, and the average salary drawn by owners was £13,500. Almost a third drew no salary and more than half took less than £20,000.

The report found that childminders who look after children in a domestic setting earned an average annual income of just £7,600, despite working four to five days a week. More than half (60%) had felt forced by the economic climate to freeze their fees for the past two years.^

On the basis of those figures, any additional income is likely to go first to owners and staff and childminders, whose jobs, which are currently poorly paid, will become harder and involve more responsibility, rather than be passed on to parents.

AmandinePoulain Thu 06-Jun-13 13:18:00

Common sense prevails grin

TravelHappy Thu 06-Jun-13 13:29:46

alienbananna and nannynick, I do see you point about it all evening out cost wise if salaries then go up to attact better qualified applicants. I do also agree that academic qualifications are not the best way of ensuring little ones are looked after well. Compassion, an afinity for toddlers and common sense trumph a degree in my book anyday.

Minifingers- Yes I read before about most nurseries not making much of a profit or indeed making a loss. I agree that the sector is horribly underpaid for the importance of the role. I just struggle to reconcile this with the fact that most nurserys in my area anyway have been around for years and economic wisdom would say that if they are making a loss then they should go out of business therefore driving up the value and price of the remaining places until the system is in balance again (because someone starts up anther nursery perhaps).

The cost and availability of childcare in the UK is horrendous (£300 per week where I live with a waiting list). If this proposal if shelved as seems to be the case I hope it doesn't mean the issue is dropped from the agenda for years. Someone needs to do a serious cost benefit analysis of different forms of subsidy/regulatory change including the broader benefits to society of enabling parents back into the workforce and children being well looked after.

alienbanana Thu 06-Jun-13 13:44:41

Nobody disagrees that the cost of childcare is horrendous and sometimes prohibitive, but any changes shouldn't be at the cost of the care of the children, and reducing ratios, especially for under 3s would be a very very bad thing indeed.

I do hope it doesn't fall off the agenda - but there has to be a better way than this.

This is great news. The plans were ill thought through and the government showed an incredible unwillingness to listen to evidence and the views of parents. Well done Clegg!

I only hope that they don't throw out all of the proposed new support measures for working parents, as this would be a genuine help, to 'spite' the lib dems for blocking the ratio changes.

Liz Truss has been notable by her absence today!

TiggyD Thu 06-Jun-13 20:04:26

The tall, attractive, intelligent and generally fun to be around author of the blog: TheTiggyLog predicted this would happen.

20th May
"...So don't panic. Don't worry. It's all going to lose momentum, then Liz Truss will lose interest and go off to eat some worms or something. It'll just fizzle out like this post seems to have done."

The guy's a genius. [smug]

BoffinMum Thu 06-Jun-13 21:53:46

We either need free childcare of some sort of national or regional tariff system, with nurseries also being exempt from employers' NI, inspection fees, and business rates. Then costs will start to become more controlled.

Goldmandra Thu 06-Jun-13 22:51:36

We either need free childcare of some sort of national or regional tariff system, with nurseries also being exempt from employers' NI, inspection fees, and business rates. Then costs will start to become more controlled.

I agree. The Gov't also need to increase the funding for the 15 hours to a rate which doesn't put settings out of business.

alienbanana Fri 07-Jun-13 08:52:59

"The Gov't also need to increase the funding for the 15 hours to a rate which doesn't put settings out of business."

Yes! It's ridiculously low at the moment.

Tanith Sat 08-Jun-13 10:50:18

I'm not sure I agree about free childcare.

I absolutely sympathise with parents who are genuinely struggling due to their tax credits and child benefit being cut.
However, I'm not seeing much evidence of this as a provider.

Yes, parents are telling me they are finding it difficult to find the money to pay my fees and are, in some cases, cutting back on hours booked and using grandparents etc. to save money. Some have even disappeared without paying me.
However, they don't seem to be cutting back in other areas. They are still taking holidays abroad, weekend breaks away, re-vamping their kitchens with the latest equipment, building custom-made offices in the garden, designer clothes...

It's entirely up to them, of course it is, how they spend their money. But to then complain that they can't afford my fees, that childcare is extortionate? hmm

I don't qualify for WFTC, or vouchers. I don't have a pension or benefits (one of the reasons why many people return to work).
I am struggling financially - it costs a fortune to feed these children, provide activities, take them out. I am already subsidising the free entitlement when I can't really afford to.

I really don't want to find myself having to subsidise free childcare as well.

Goldmandra Sat 08-Jun-13 11:03:37

*I am already subsidising the free entitlement when I can't really afford to.

I really don't want to find myself having to subsidise free childcare as well.*

You absolutely shouldn't have to! The funding should be set at a sustainable rate.

I am so relieved that, with the ratios not changing, at least they won't be able to reduce the rate further and justify it by saying providers can care for more children to bump it back up.

I think anyone who's talking about free childcare means properly resourced and valued early years provision Tanith, just as Goldmandra suggests. I think it's invested in and centrally supported much more in Scandinavia for example ?

Tanith Sat 08-Jun-13 18:05:12

I understand the attraction, I just can't see that it would be adequately funded. After all, the free entitlement is meant to be free - just 15 hours a week - and they can't even manage that much.

Just needs people to really appreciate it as an investment in the future, as well as enabling this generation of mothers (and fathers) to achieve their potential in the workplace as far as they wish to do so.
But no-one ever seems to think of the next generation and it's only twenty/ twenty-five years away (when children already 2, 3 or 4)

Goldmandra Sat 08-Jun-13 19:44:56

But no-one ever seems to think of the next generation

That's because a different government would be the beneficiary.

YY, that's a real failing of the political system isn't it Goldmandra

That, and pandering to the electorate with things that might sound like a good idea to some but really aren't - think endless health and education "reforms" such as, just for an example, this latest "troops to teachers" initiative.

Goldmandra Sat 08-Jun-13 20:52:45

think endless health and education "reforms"

Well how else are those poor politicians going to make their mark on the world? They all want to go down in history for something.

Pity so many will go down for making such a mess and wasting so much money.

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