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Childcare is to be deregulated

(60 Posts)
Italiana Mon 12-Nov-12 15:52:51

It has just been announced that childcare will be deregulated via the Children and Families Bill

Government 'plans to deregulate childcare' in children and families bill

By Gabriella Jozwiak, Monday 12 November 2012

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Childcare regulations may be relaxed by an amendment to the children and families bill, CYP Now has learned.

Deregulation could mean ratios of childminders to children would decrease. Image: Martin Figura

Decreased ratios of staff to children and lower qualification requirements could be included in the legislation, according to a source working closely with the coalition government’s childcare commission.

The source said a “form of deregulation” would be added to the bill that would affect childminders and group level childcare providers, but they were unsure about the exact form the deregulation might take.

The early years sector has expressed concern at the proposal, which follows suggestions for deregulation made by children’s minister Elizabeth Truss earlier this year.

“Any form of watering down of regulation and ratios or qualifications can only be damning to good quality early years childcare,” said Denise Burke, director of United for All Ages and the Good Care Guide.

“If we were talking about taking away some of the burden of registration and paperwork required for inspection, that would be a good thing, but if we’re talking about regulation on ratios or dumbing down of qualifications, that would be a very bad move.”

Parliament is expected to introduce the bill in January 2013, meaning any amendments would have to be announced before that date.

The National Childminding Association's (NCMA) director of professional standards, Stuart Turner, said he hoped this would provide an opportunity to debate the amendment before it becomes law.

"As our members are very concerned about possible changes to childminding regulations and ratios in England, if the rumours about the bill are true, NCMA would welcome the scrutiny that a parliamentary process would ensure," said Turner.

June O’Sullivan, chief executive of the London Early Years Foundation, said she was unsurprised by the suggestion.

“Our minister is quite determined to take this through even though I don’t think the sector is supportive of this and I don’t think it’s in the sector’s interests,” she said, referring to Truss.

Truss has suggested adopting a model of childcare regulation similar to that used in the Netherlands in a paper for the think-tank Centre Forum.

“There is a political drive for this in terms of trying to make childcare more cost effective, but it may well prove to be more costly as it did in Holland,” continued O’Sullivan.

The Department for Education has been contacted for a response.

GrimAndHumourless Mon 12-Nov-12 16:17:51

it's still a may as opposed to a will

we're still none the wiser, eh, SIGH

MrAnchovy Mon 12-Nov-12 16:52:35

The original article (an editorial item on the Children and Young People Now web site, not an official announcement) is here.

fraktion Mon 12-Nov-12 18:04:32

Well we'll know on the 4th December but I am fairly sure what the news will be...

Italiana Mon 12-Nov-12 18:36:43

The article I have posted is from CYPN...I put the whole thing rather than the link
No it is not confirmed but CYPN is a good source and reliable...we will hear soon as Fraktion says...

Truss also gave her first interview to Nursery World

Italiana Mon 12-Nov-12 21:17:18

I know that we have to be patient and wait until we get confirmation but I would like to know what parents in this forum feel about the possibility of leaving their children in 'unregulated' childcare or, as we are led to believe that deregulation will lower costs, will this be more important ?

fraktion Mon 12-Nov-12 21:24:38

Italiana chat, AIBU or in the news get more traffic and might be better places to post. Nannies, CMs and those with an interest tend to hang out here.

wannaBe Mon 12-Nov-12 21:28:46

well, I fail to see how much difference it will really make to parents.

Regulation does not a good childminder make IMO, and there is currently far too much emphasis on qualification etc, to the extent that childminders are now pretty much preschool teachers. As a parent I wouldn't need that - I would require someone to look after my child not a preschool level qualified teacher...

Ultimately parents looking for the best level of childcare will know the right questions to ask. "how many children do you currently look after," etc - it doesn't take regulation to establish that.

I know of plenty of childminders I wouldn't entrust with the care of my dogs let alone a child, all of whom are regulated. so IMO it's the person that makes the good childcarer not the level of qualification achieved.

Italiana Mon 12-Nov-12 21:44:41

Fraktion...I am sorry I don't know what AIBU means...I think I need to access a list with all abbreviations...sorry my skills lie elsewhere not IT have a choice who you entrust your children to...rightly so
Deregulation will give less guarantee that the c/ms is good at caring...regulation means that we are accountable

Lets be honest here, Truss is deregulating to 'save money' and aiming this at working mothers, as if c/ms were not, may also mean that she may want to cut red tape as a form of deregulation, much of it introduced by the present DfE in addition to the huge waste of funding that duplicates everything and no one accounts for
Do you really know the right questions to ask? I would expect more that just how many children I care for?

As an experienced c/m, like many here, I would find it difficult to just care for a and education go hand in hand and also offended that you may not recognise that some c/ms are very committed to the care and education of your children and have achieved qualifications and degrees to raise standards
I have also seen mothers who struggle with parenting does not make them bad mothers

JackThePumpkinKing Mon 12-Nov-12 21:54:54

Does this relate to childminders, or is it childcare across the board?

Italiana Mon 12-Nov-12 21:59:54

Please do not quote me on this but I think it will start with c/ms...I hope that NDNA and PLA will come out with statements soon, although I think they already know....we were in line to be shot first!!!
NCMA has just said we need to wait until it is confirmed...nothing is clear from the artcle

YourHandInMyHand Mon 12-Nov-12 22:01:13

I've been a child minder and I've used childminders as a parent.

I wouldn't use an unregistered child minder.

I want a child minder who:
- has been checked
- has had their home safety checked
- has had CRBs done (I know these's aren't a guarantee but better than no checks at all)
- has done at least the basics in terms of courses (paediatric first aid, child protection, level 2 at least in childcare)
- is insured
- sticks to small ratios
- follows procedures
- views themselves as a professional running a business.

Currently you only get help with childcare if you are using a registered provider. Will this change? Will you get childcare help regardless of what provider you choose? Will childcare help be scrapped/pared down?

fraktion Tue 13-Nov-12 00:07:14

AIBU - am I being unreasonable. It's quite a high traffic area of mumsnet.

I think the entity formerly know as NCMA and CMs, and the rest if the sector, need to be clear on what regulation is, what it does and why it exists. It's not about EYFS or mini nurseries. It's about the people who look after children knowing first aid, having an idea of what a CM dies before they start caring for children, being accountable by holding insurance and providing a SAFE environment. That is the core purpose if regulation and that is what must not be touched.

tethersend Tue 13-Nov-12 00:12:12

I'd be interested to see how any deregulation affects childcare vouchers.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Tue 13-Nov-12 00:14:18

Tanith Tue 13-Nov-12 20:28:05

I couldn't disagree more with wannaBe. With a few exceptions, most parents do not know what to look for and what to ask.

A local nursery has just had an appalling OFSTED inspection - their 2nd, with no evidence of having attempted to address issues raised in the first. Parents had stated they were happy with the nursery and their children loved attending. Since OFSTED, the majority have taken their children out of that nursery: they had no idea that their children were at risk (no first aiders) and their learning and development was actually inhibited by poor practice. They didn't realise that the nursery was breaking basic regulations until they read that damning report.

I have had prospective parents ask me what questions they should ask.

Do you realise that, under deregulation, this nursery would still be providing its poor care and parents would be completely unaware of what was going on?

bemybebe Tue 13-Nov-12 22:13:31

Will be watching with interest. Just looking into having a regular shared childminding on a rota basis with my NCT pals and the amount of red tape is scary...

noblegiraffe Tue 13-Nov-12 22:19:30

Does deregulation mean no regulation? I'm a bit shocked if it means that any old person can set themselves up and call themselves a childminder with no CRB check or safety checks. Is that what it does mean?

MrAnchovy Tue 13-Nov-12 22:26:25

Just looking into having a regular shared childminding on a rota basis with my NCT pals and the amount of red tape is scary

If there is no payment involved then there shouldn't be any red tape. Who is telling you to jump through what hoops?

MrAnchovy Tue 13-Nov-12 22:27:59

Is that what it does mean?

Nobody knows exactly what it means yet, although the situation you outline is highly unlikely.

bemybebe Tue 13-Nov-12 23:12:19

Oops. MrAnchovy, it sounds like I have old information. I am going to look into this again. Previously we were advised to consider becoming a registered childminders by the council, but it seems no longer relevant. Just checked on ofstead's web....

Italiana Wed 14-Nov-12 09:58:22

I think that there has been enough information to understand deregulation
It will either be an agency or 'less regulation' by cutting red tape
See Truss' interview for Nursery World where I think she is giving hints...soon to be published as her proposals

Stoney666 Wed 14-Nov-12 10:10:10

How would this effect us following EYFS etc? Will will still be inspected. Think it's time for me to leave sad

noblegiraffe Wed 14-Nov-12 10:12:02

I'm a parent who uses a childminder and haven't the faintest idea what's going on. I've read the interview in nursery world and am none the wiser. What does 'an agency' mean? That childminders will have to sign up to agencies? What red tape is there to cut (ofsted inspections?). From Jan will my childminder suddenly be allowed to take 5 children at a time?

MrAnchovy Wed 14-Nov-12 11:23:41

What does 'an agency' mean?
We don't know until the details are announced

That childminders will have to sign up to agencies?
We don't know until the details are announced

What red tape is there to cut (ofsted inspections?).
Yes, although the evidence and opinions point overwhelmingly towards keeping an inspection regime. There are also the requirements imposed on Childminders who want to access Early Years Funding by Local Authority Networks (the free 15 hours for 3 and 4 year olds and also the new funding for 2 year olds). And planning departments. Food hygiene. Data protection act. Requirement to follow the whole EYFS regardless of whether a child is with you 4 hours a week or full time. There's lots...

From Jan will my childminder suddenly be allowed to take 5 children at a time?
Childminders are already allowed to care for up to 6 under 8s, but I assume you mean under 5s. Any change of that kind would require new legislation which will take time and require further consultation, so IMHO there will be no major changes in that short a timescale or without the approval of parliament.

Those who think they know what's coming should bear in mind that politicians work by 'positioning' announcements. This means that before an official announcement they may give briefings 'overplaying' what is coming - then when the real thing comes out they hope that everyone will breathe a sigh of relief. Or they may 'underplay' it by making general statements that cover a wide range of possibilities so that when it comes out and everyone says "this is terrible" they can point back at the briefings and say "but we told you this was coming". Or they may play it down the middle to gauge the reaction - if it is not too bad they will go back and toughen things up, but if there is an outcry they may have a rethink.

Or they may do all three at different times - look back over Truss's actions over the past six months and see if you can work out when she is doing what.

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