Has there ever been a U-turn on Government childcare policy as great as this? After six long months of campaigning, with thousands of signatures on paper and online petitions started by childminders, early years organisations and parenting groups, the changes to ratios that everyone feared would be so damaging for young children are now ‘dead in the water’, as Nick Clegg reportedly told sector leaders.
Category Archives: Policy and Politics
The appointment of Elizabeth Truss could divide opinion among the early years and childcare sector.
On the one hand the new minister for early years has at least shown an interest in tackling problems to do with the affordability and availability of childcare for families. In fact, you could say she has a keen interest in it.
It’s easy to become immune to stories of nurseries closing, there seems to be so many of them. But it’s now happening in my ‘back yard’, which I admit has made me sit up and take notice.
I’m shocked to hear that the nursery at South Bermondsey Children’s Centre has been earmarked for closure by the council (along with Bishop’s House Children’s Centre, also in the London borough Southwark – Nursery World, 2 April). I understand that money is tight and cuts need to be made but closing a ‘jewel in the community’ – and this is a socially deprived area that needs all the assets it can get – has surely got to be the wrong choice.
In 2010 the Pre-School Leaning Alliance seemed to be under a very real threat from the financial squeeze – with a poll of its members revealing that one in ten would be forced to close if the free entitlement continued to lose them money. However, in this, its 50th anniversary year – and despite the ongoing economic climate – it is good to see the mood is positive. Read More
Like any football referee, Ofsted is bound to come in for severe criticism, and over the years it certainly has done. The damning report from the Education select committee, The Role and Performance of Ofsted, is likely to lead to significant structural and operational changes. Read More
‘There is much to be proud of …’, says Dame Clare Tickell in her eagerly-awaited review of the Early Years Foundation Stage, reflecting the views of the majority of the early years sector about the current framework.
The first signs are that there is also much to be proud of in the work of Dame Clare and her review team in coming up with recommendations that can build on the successes of the EYFS so far. There are some suggestions for amendments that would be significant, without causing huge upheaval and disruption for a workforce that has faced much change and challenge in the past few years.