"sweeping deregulation of nurseries and childminders"(6 Posts)
I think it's appalling and will lead to a lot of people setting up as CMs to make a quick buck in these cash strapped times.
I was a childminder,an outstanding one and I have a degree in early years.Yes it's demanding and I know many who have given up due to some of the ridiculous paperwork however these changes aren't the way to go.They're throwing the baby out with the bath water the numbers thing is one thing that really needs to stay.
Can't believe many Tories would like their kids left in a setting with high numbers,their precious dc will be at home with a nanny.
"Personally I do not believe that childminders (however qualifed) can properly deliver the EYFS."
Childminders have proved time and again that we can deliver the EYFS. So much so that many of us are accredited to deliver the Early Years Free Entitlement and the Free Entitlement for 2 year olds.
" The reason that I feel that childminders can not provide an effective Early years education is that that they are limited by the number of children they look after. I believe that nursery education needs a minimum number of children for social development."
What qualifies you to make this assertion? Quite apart from the fact that you have no idea how many children a minded child will socialise with during their day, where is your evidence that a childminded child is socially disadvantaged?
There is a difference between childcare and education. DD's private nursery provided childcare and the children there are very happy. However her school nursery is far more education orientated and very keen to improve children's skills.
As children get older, having qualified staff is more important than ratios. I think that three year olds do benefit from having a qualified teacher. I had to admit that I didn't believe it was the case until my daughter started school nursery. However children cannot take that level of intensity of education for a ten hour day.
I think the governant needs to accept that there are different types of care. For example a sports centre creche is only looking after children for an hour so it does not matter whether they learn much provided the children are healthy and happy.
Personally I do not believe that childminders (however qualifed) can properly deliver the EYFS. However childminders can provide excellent wrap around care. The reason that I feel that childminders can not provide an effective Early years education is that that they are limited by the number of children they look after. I believe that nursery education needs a minimum number of children for social development.
Prehaps there is a happy medium between completely getting rid of regulation and the present level of regulation.
I sent my kids to a non-ofstead crechés for a few hours a week last year. I'd used ofstead regulated crechés before and they were great. This one was OK but not great. I wouldn't have wanted my DCs to spend too much time there, though a few hours a week playing was fine.
Before I used this creché I was a little blasé about the regulations - seemed too controlling. Parents ought to be able to make their own decisions about their kids' care, and if the government is going to insist on ratios like that and things like EYFS it ought to fund them.
But I'm not so sure after using that creché. Mainly because I can see that the kids who end up in the nurseries with the better ratios will be the kids who already have lots of resources to aid their development, and the ones in the most crowded places will be the ones who are most in need of additional resources to help them keep up. And we already seem to be too deeply divided on those lines.
But, though I've looked, I don't think there is much hard evidence that current regulations are of significant benefit for children or value for money, and I think that makes them difficult to justify.
I think that the present system has far too much red tape. There is far too much documenting of children's development rather than interacting with them. It is stupid to expect childminders to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage. Making the early years foundation stage less prescriptive would offer choice to parents. Not everyone wants their tot to be taught phonics.
I would be happy for ratios to be lowered for children over 5 where there are two adults in the room. I think that two qualified nursery nurses could easily mange to look after more than 16 school aged children. However babies and toddlers need small ratios.
Ratios can be lowered once a child is RELIABLY potty trained. However its (quite rightly) against the law to refuse to take a child in nappies.
We need to think how school nurseries and wrap around care can work. In my area if you use a childminder to pick up from school nursery you get charged for the hours your child is at school nursery/ pre school. This defeats the object of having nursery funding.
In my experience childcare providers tend to charge as much as they think the market can stand. I doult that lowering ratios would decrease. At the moment many nurseries charge the same for over threes and under threes as they know the market will stand it.
I posted this in "Childminders":
It's from the Times, Xenia posted it on the thread in site stuff about childcare tax breaks. (I am taking her word for it - can't read the Times directly)
Deregulation will "allow", that is, force, childminders to take on more children to make their wage. Standards will fall. At worst, accidents will happen; at best there will be a proliferation of sad, stressy childcare settings where children are just marking time till their parents come.
I have a great childminder, I know most CMs take their job very seriously and just want to do their best. I think the regulations are in everyone's interest.
I do wish childcare was cheaper and can barely afford it, but I don't want CMs to be paid less* because I can't see how they could be paid any less or do any more without standards falling unacceptably. I feel very strongly about this.
* (yes it can be subsidised, through significant tax breaks at the very least, it is manageable in other countries.)
What does everyone else think?
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