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Brilliant news re ratios!

(53 Posts)
libertyflip Wed 05-Jun-13 19:23:18

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.

enjoyingscience Thu 06-Jun-13 14:06:57

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)

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