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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.

littleducks Thu 22-Nov-12 10:16:18

The parents are generally happy with school discipline. The intake includes children from a wide range if backgrounds with suffering expectation if behaviour, it is useful for the school to be clear about their expectations. There are also complex reward systems for achievement and good behaviour.

Anyway the point I was trying to make us that you can call it whatever you want but the small children quickly catch on its for 'naughty' behaviour. Not just mine who hear the word at home but those from very laid back homes and homes where no English is really used too.

ZuleikaD Thu 22-Nov-12 09:22:14

Sounds to me like the trainer was telling you what you wanted to hear to get you to buy in to it ... the EYFS was mostly developed from the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage

WEB of LIES!! shock

Strix Thu 22-Nov-12 08:08:13

Careful, Italiana, you can get your childminding registration snapped away in the blink of an eye for that sort of talk.

Italiana Thu 22-Nov-12 07:30:55

Abslolutely correct Mr Anchovy...I can see a copy of the Curiculum Guidance on my shelves!!! I am losing th will to live!!!

MrAnchovy Thu 22-Nov-12 00:56:47

I was told that on my EYFS training course when they were going through where it had come from and the logic behind it.

Sounds to me like the trainer was telling you what you wanted to hear to get you to buy in to it sad

As I understand it the EYFS was mostly developed from the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage which was the previous guidance for nursery schools.

Strix Wed 21-Nov-12 15:03:53

Mr a, the point on my nutritional requirements was that OFSTED and I am not aligned on what is important. So is it right they have so much control and I have so little.

I'm not sure their current (large) scope brings value to the table. I think their powers are too many and a bit of deregulation might be a good thing. I would need to know more about what the proposals actually are. But I suspect I might support them, especially if they involve a reduction the powers OFSTED currently have, and all too often abuse.

ZuleikaD Wed 21-Nov-12 13:19:27

I was told that on my EYFS training course when they were going through where it had come from and the logic behind it.

MrAnchovy Wed 21-Nov-12 13:12:39

OFSTED have no nutritional guidelines or standards.

To be clear, Ofsted don't have ANY guidelines or standards. They simply inspect and enforce according to the regulations that are laid down by government. The regulations that are laid down are mostly about being a "suitable person" (e.g. CRB check, training), limits on numbers and on education (the EYFS). Not nutrition, or even childcare (education is NOT childcare).

If you don't like the EYFS, it is the Department for Education that you need to take this up with. If you want standards on nutrition or childcare you need to lobby government for them.

The thing I find absurd about the EYFS is that it was a way of formally spelling out what good, involved parents do with their children in a domestic setting. The idea was that that model would be carried into institutional settings such as nurseries and daycare so they were replicating what went on in homes.

Why do you say that, I don't think that it is true at all, in fact I think the opposite is true: the EYFS aimed to look at best practice in an institutional setting.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Wed 21-Nov-12 13:03:08

'Children should not be punished'

Do you believe adults should be punished? If adults should be punished when they're naughty, at what age should that start? 12, 18, 21? Do you think that it would come as quite a shock to realise that bad behaviour carries a punishment?

Strix Wed 21-Nov-12 11:37:16

I think children are silly, and that is good. Foolishness of a trivial nature, with an element of humour. My toddler is often silly. He makes us laugh, and then he laughs with us. That is what silly really means.

Strix Wed 21-Nov-12 11:16:46

So nutrition is high on my list, but not ofsted's. other stuff is high on their list, but not mine. So, do they regulated against too much? I think probably yes.

I don't need my 2 or 3 year old to be scored against EYFS. And I don't wish to pay the childminder to fill out unnecessary paperwork. I would far prefer she was sitting on the floor playing.

Some of the stuff OFSTED regulates is good, appropriate, and even necessary, but not all of it. So, if I knew more about the alleged plans for deregulation I may well support it.

Our naughty step is a place the children go when they talk back to the au pair to sit quietly, when they come off we discuss why they were sent there and they apologise to au pair. I'm not sure how that differs from time out.

I also don't think it is your or ofsted's place to pass judgement on my parenting skills.

fraktion Wed 21-Nov-12 10:33:43

Quite zuleika

OFSTED have no nutritional guidelines or standards. It comes under the rather nebulous area of healthy children/lifestyle which it obviously is part of. I don't see how they could insist on any kind of standard though. It was hard getting school dinners sorted and they have dedicated catering staff. I don't remember there being anything on the ICO about nutrition though. IMO if it's that important it goes on the most basic level of training that CMs receive. Which tells us a lot about what is important now looking at CYPOP5....

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Wed 21-Nov-12 08:23:30

I wish we had a "like" button, as I would "like" Zuleika's post. This is exactly what I feel.
I cm, I love what I do and I love the children I look after. They are treated as extended family, they receive love, praise and disclipine equally. My home is safe, comfy and a pleasant place to be. I'm an intelligent woman, risks have been assessed and mitigated. I am NOT a teacher. I provide learning experiences, challenges and encourage children to try harder, to succeed at things just as I do with my own dd. The files of paperwork are above and beyond.

ZuleikaD Wed 21-Nov-12 07:58:54

The thing I find absurd about the EYFS is that it was a way of formally spelling out what good, involved parents do with their children in a domestic setting. The idea was that that model would be carried into institutional settings such as nurseries and daycare so they were replicating what went on in homes. To then carry that back to CMs in a formal way when it's what good CMs do anyway is - to me - absurd. Yes to keeping children safe, to good nutrition, a stimulating environment, knowledge of first aid. No to pages of assessments, planning, observations, feedback and so on.

Italiana Wed 21-Nov-12 07:31:26

Ofsted have a set of criteria by which they judge practice which is set in the EYFS requitrements...we ourselves can check they are using them appropriately when grading us and challenge if necessary

Repeat: time out and naughy chair are different, read some of the books then discuss further

You can have time out sitting on a chair...yes that is usually the practice and the aim is to talk about what happened as long as you know what triggered the behaviour (ABC of behaviour guideline)
Children should not be punished and are not silly,they need guidance to learn good behaviour
If you repeatedly have to use your 'naughty step' your strategy for behaviour management needs reviewing...try something more positive, I have used it just 3 times in years of practice

I would never give my children to anyone who uses the naughty anything! what you have described above are actually humiliating tactics...sad to hear parents do not challenge the school

Ofsted do not have nutritional standards...can I see them please, I use my own which compare favourably with those used by parents
Knowing how to feed kids properly is not rocket science

Strix Wed 21-Nov-12 06:48:21

Well, I think a child who has been naughty should be told so. How else will they understand what they have done wrong? Children are very resilient and they can only learn from us if we are honest with them. There seems to be all kinds of hysteria regarding the word "naughty" in childcare and education. It has been replaced with the word "silly". So children grow up thinking silly means naughty, but they get the same message on their way to the naughty silly step.

When I use the word silly to represent its true meaning, it's very clear my children think I am cross and that it is a bad thing. So, I tell them what silly really means.

Incidentally "time out" is as far as I know the American translation to the British "naughty step".

These things are a bit trivial in my view. I don't need ofsted to regulate them for me. As a parent these are questions I would ask before engaging a childminder. But what I would choose may not be right for someone else's children.

OFSTED's nutritional standards are frankly lacking, and on that point, they should raise their game.

littleducks Tue 20-Nov-12 22:49:11

In reception at my kids school they have a time out chair

The kids all come out saying x sat on the naughty chair today wink

It's a punishment, like standing on the wall at break time or having your name put on the 'sad cloud' but I'm not sure I would go so far as to say its humiliating!

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Tue 20-Nov-12 22:39:35

'Ofsted do not have a list'

they must have some sort of list/guidelines/rules to work from, how else do they know what is currently considered 'good practice'.

Italiana Tue 20-Nov-12 22:36:27

There is a vast different between a 'naughty step' and 'time out'
Naughty is a word good and qualified practiitoners rarely use, the naughty step is humiliating..see Steve Biddulph or Jennie Lindon
Time out is for reflection on actions and consequences and you never leave a child alone at time out but talk sensibly and encourage good behaviour

Ofsted do not have a list..neverseen one in 5 inspections, they judge on good practice and behaviour management I hope?
We do not have nutritional guidelines just feed the children a well balanced diet which is learnt at NVQ3...mine is mainly freshly cooked and mediterrenean= healthy and yummy!

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Tue 20-Nov-12 22:10:22

I don't think the case in that link has got anything to do with regulation tbh.

I'm sure if Ofsted rocked up and asked her 'true or false, it's ok to go to the shops and leave 7 little children, including at least 4 under 3 home by themselves?' she'd be able to say all the right things.

In the same way that someone with a CRB check can abuse children. Someone with a first aid qualification can panic in an emergency. Someone with an NVQ in childcare or a degree in early years can sit them in front of the TV and ignore them all day.

I think there is an over reliance on regulation to the point that people have stopped using their own common sense.

AmberLeaf Tue 20-Nov-12 20:48:24

grin I love duff spell checks!

littleducks Tue 20-Nov-12 20:46:20

I can't really come to a proper opinion without the full details but I think I am generally in favour.

I used a CM for a period of time, it was very expensive. For the school run to drop off at school £15 (with holiday pay although it was a term time contract hmm). There was no 'education' going on, dd was sitting in a car.

For something like that I would rather pay someone with no qualifications, to walk her to school with her own children. There are mums who would like a bit over extra cash doing that.

When I looked at nurseries and preschool both my children attended places that had qualified primary school teachers there. I made that decision without ofsted.

Strix Tue 20-Nov-12 20:31:04

Can I just say that I really hate the apple spell checker. Mamby pamby is what I meant to say about their disciplinary guidelines.

Strix Tue 20-Nov-12 20:28:07

Yes, I agree with the regulation you have listed, amber. But some of the things ofsted rate childminders on is not aligned with what I would consider important. For example, their nutritional guidelines aren't nearly as strict as mine. But some of their disciplinary guidelines I think are a bit mambo palm by. I once had a childminder who got marked down for having a "naughty stool". And in my house the naughty step is very well used. I think a bit of time out is a good thing. But OFSTED said it was demoralising. I want my child to be taught right from wrong. I don't want a teenager who thinks their are no consequences for his/her behaviour.

So basic first aid, health and safety, and a natural knack for children are all on my list. But OFSTED's list is in some respects quite different.

AmberLeaf Tue 20-Nov-12 17:43:45

Oh and I wouldn't choose a childminder who had dogs, but I know that is just my own preference and not everyone would mind a dog in the setting.

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