New Government Plans for Childcare
June 4, 2022
Babies, Toddlers & Pre-School Fun & Education, Wet Play, Motor Skills, Social Interaction
The government’s plan to relax childcare ratios in the UK, and consequently reduce costs for parents, is not being widely welcomed! Early years leaders are calling the proposals ‘short sighted’, and ‘absolutely ludicrous’. The plans were considered during a brainstorming session, at which Prime Minister Boris Johnson was present. The Guardian, say that according to ‘sources’ Boris Johnson was ‘on board’ with the idea of reducing the number of staff needed per child.
As stated by the Department for Education, this would be one of the ways discussed to support parents and give greater choice and availability at a lower cost. It also stressed that if the planned changes went ahead, quality of provision along with health and safety would be of ‘paramount importance’. This isn’t the first time that the government has tried to introduce such measures, as similar plans were put forward in 2013. This prompted a backlash from the sector which caused the proposals to fall through.
The Early Years Alliance (EYA), then called the Pre-school Learning Alliance, led a campaign to quash these plans. The 2013 campaign was called the Rewind the Ratios campaign. Chief Executive of EYA, Neil Leitch said: “Such a change would be a catastrophic and retrograde step for the early years sector. “What’s more, such a policy would do little, if anything, to lower costs for parents. We know that the vast majority of providers plan to keep their ratios as they are, regardless of any regulation changes, in order to maintain quality levels. Even if a minority did relax their ratios, any savings would be used to recoup years of historic losses, not lower fees.”
He went on to say, “By looking at ratios as a solution to rising early years costs, the government has missed the mark and entirely misunderstood what is driving these increases. What we need isn’t deregulated, cheap childcare, but investment in affordable, quality early education.” Chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, Purnima Tanuku said that the discussions demonstrated, “a lack of understanding of how the early years sector works in this country”.
Channings Childcare offers the highest quality care for babies, toddlers and pre-school children at a number of excellent locations. Call us for a chat on 0161 222 4067 .