Childcare ratio changes to be dropped

Children playing in nurseryNick Clegg has announced that proposals to relax ratios for childcare providers will not be implemented

We're delighted to learn that someone in government has listened to parents' concerns over the proposed changes to childcare ratios - under which nursery staff would be allowed to look after four babies instead of three and six two-year-olds, instead of the current limit of four - and that they're to be scrapped. Mumsnetters' opposition led us to join with the Pre-School Learning Alliance to campaign against the ratio changes - so Nick Clegg's announcement that the plans are "dead in the water" is extremely welcome.

Opposition on Mumsnet

    When Education and Childcare Minister Liz Truss came onto Mumsnet to discuss the Government's changes to childcare ratios, Mumsnetters were quick to voice their scepticism. In a webchat that ran to 407 posts, parents, voters and childcare workers alike spoke out unanimously and forcefully against the outlined increases. 

    The Government's proposals also sparked many discussions on Mumsnet's talk boards, with a vast majority of Mumsnet users opposed to the planned changes. Members linked to petitions protesting the changes, and called on Mumsnet to publicly back the Rewind on Ratios campaign

    A recent Mumsnet survey also found that only 5% of those polled would support increased ratios, even if they meant that the cost of childcare would fall.

    Following Nick Clegg's announcment, Justine Roberts, Mumsnet co-founder and CEO, said:

    "Mumsnet users will be mightily relieved to hear that the proposed changes to childcare ratios are to be scrapped. Parents were unconvinced that the suggested changes would lead to lower childcare costs but did believe that the quality of care would be adversely affected. Put simply, four babies under one or six under-twos is a lot for even the most experienced childcare worker to manage."

    Rewind on Ratios

    The Rewind on Ratios campaign is led by the Pre-school Learning Alliance, the largest early years learning membership organisation in England. The campaign is backed by a number of organisations, including Asquith Nurseries, the country’s third-largest day nursery group; Norland College, the world’s premier training college for nannies; and Voice, a trade union for teachers, support staff, nursery nurses and nannies. In addition, more than 26,000 parents have backed the campaign (last updated 1 May 2013), signing the official Government petition and the Alliance's paper petition.

  • Guest blog from children's minister Liz Truss
  • Guest blog from Stephen Twigg
  • Have your say about the childcare changes
  • Mumsnet childcare costs survey results



Last updated: over 3 years ago