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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. More here.

Live webchat about childcare reform with Liz Truss, Education & Childcare Minister, Thursday 7 February, 1pm

(408 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Feb-13 13:14:14

Hello hello,

We'll be welcoming the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare - Elizabeth Truss MP - for a webchat on Thursday Feb 7th (tomorrow) 1pm - 2pm.

As the Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk, Elizabeth Truss lives in Downham Market with her husband and two daughters. She was brought up in Yorkshire and, before entering Parliament, worked as the Deputy Director at the think-tank Reform. She also worked in the energy and telecommunications industry for 10 years and is a qualified management accountant.

Elizabeth recently wrote a Mumsnet guest blog on the Government's plans for childcare reform, which generated this recent thread - and childcare expert Penelope Leach responded to the proposals here.

Do post your question in advance on this thread, or join us live on Thursday 1pm-2pm.

And, as ever, a gentle reminder to all to stick to our webchat guidelines.

Many thanks.

FloatyBeatie Mon 11-Feb-13 15:44:01

Trouble is, policy isn't what happens at elections anymore. Low turnout, a perverse voting system, and the complete failure of the party system to function as a channel for mass participation in the formation of two coherent sets of political principles all mean that we don't really have any constitutional means for conferring a sense of legitimacy on govt's chosen policies. And that is exacerbated when, like this govt, they throw out radical policy innovations that weren't remotely anticipated in the manifesto or talked through in the election.

They seem more and more dependent on extra-constitutional means for generating perceived legitimacy. Which means lots of quasi-consultation and milking of social media.

FloatyBeatie Mon 11-Feb-13 15:59:18

But yes re catharsis. Perhaps there should be a Paxman test -- if it can be said to a guest on Newsnight it can be said on an MN webchat.

vezzie Mon 11-Feb-13 17:08:53

"They seem more and more dependent on extra-constitutional means for generating perceived legitimacy. Which means lots of quasi-consultation and milking of social media. "

- which is why social media should not require social standards of politeness, but quasi-parliamentary. This is not like the MP turning up to your at-home and you forbearing to mention that his policies are caddish.

SouthernPolish Wed 13-Feb-13 21:33:11

Some Childminders in Northants have received an email / letter to attend a meeting with Elizabeth Truss. It state that response to her proposals so far has been negative, so please can Childminders to are positive about joining an agency or at least open minded respond and attend.
If you are in Northants and have received this could you please post up a copy of the full text.
Has anyone else, elsewhere in the country received a similar communication.

I do believe Elizabeth Truss is seeking her 'lots and lots' of supporters....

SouthernPolish Thu 28-Feb-13 10:54:31

NEW PETITION against agencies!
Please SIGN share / tweet!

OddBoots Sun 03-Mar-13 17:38:21

Childcare ratios 'could hit nurseries in poor areas'

'The warning comes after the Pre-School Learning Alliance condemned the planned changes at a conference on childcare.

Its chief executive Neil Leitch said: "Never in the past 12 years have I seen so much hostility towards a single initiative as this one. Why? Because we believe it entirely conflicts with the aim of putting the child first."

He said a recent survey for his organisation had found that 94% of group day care providers thought the quality of their childcare would diminish if ratios were altered.

"Yet, you would think that given around 70% of costs relate to staff wages, providers would be rushing out of their nursery doors jumping for joy at the prospect of increasing revenue - but it's the reverse."'

Why is this still being pushed through when so many still think it is a wrong and dangerous thing to do?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 28-Apr-13 19:48:45


We just wanted to give you an update on the childcare ratios issue following this webchat. Of the 407 posts, the Minister’s voice in support of the plans was singular – parents, voters and childcare workers spoke out in force and unanimously against increases to childcare ratios. The message we received was clear: there is precious little support on Mumsnet for this policy.

Because of this, numerous threads on Mumsnet, and knowing that just 5% of surveyed Mumsnetters said they’d be happy to see the number of childcare staff reduced (even if that meant the cost of childcare was to fall), we've been in touch with the Pre-school Learning Alliance's and are happy to be backing its campaign “Rewind on Ratios”.

The “Rewind on Ratios” campaign calls on the Government to scrap its plans on childcare ratios changes, and to undertake a full consultation with practitioners and parents on future proposals. They highlight concerns for both child safety and child support, if childcare ratios are to be relaxed (you can read more about this here.) They're asking parents to sign their official Government e-petition and the Alliance's paper petition; currently around 22,000 parents have backed the campaign.

JustineMumsnet announced Mumsnet's backing of "Rewind on Ratios", saying: 'There's a lot of concern amongst Mumsnet users about the Government's plans to relax childcare ratios. Four babies under the age of one seems like a lot for even the most experienced childcare worker to manage. When we surveyed our members about the cost of childcare, only 5% of parents supported ratio relaxation even if it meant lower costs. We really do think the Government needs to rethink its plans.'

blondieminx Fri 10-May-13 13:11:13

It looks like this is going to run and run - for anyone interested, here is the BBC's leaked copies of the correspondence between Nick Clegg and Liz Truss on the ratio's issue

Apparently Clegg said he'd given clearance for a consultation (of which this webchat formed a part) and not for the policy. hmm.

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