7th August – my thoughts on Gove comments about ‘deregulation’   3 comments

Over the weekend I was made aware of the letter from  Gove to Wilshaw in which Gove openly talks about ‘deregulation’ of the early years sector. If you have not seen the letter  – take a look

secretary of states letter to her majestys chief inspecto

Nursery World provided a very good breakdown of it yesterday – again if not read it yet – click on link

http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/bulletin/nurseryworldupdate/article/1144187/?DCMP=EMC-CONNurseryWorldUpdate

 

Having had the benefit of a couple of days to think about it – I have now moved from utter despair, anger and some depression about this latest news – to a head full of questions which are mainly directed at Mr.Gove and the DfE.

So these are my thoughts / questions

  • When is meant by ‘deregulation’?

The letter to Wilshaw mentions deregulation but does not say if complete deregulation or just deregulation of certain aspects? My take on the wording is that regulation for 5 – 8 year olds will be very reduced – even to the point of just CRB checks – does this tie in with Cameron’s announcement about extended hours childcare within schools?

It would be very helpful if  detailed information could be provided about the governments eventual goal and the timescale. Many childcare providers and those looking to enter the childcare sector for the over 5 market will be undertaking a lot of work, maybe borrowing money,and/ or entering financial agreements for premises. If there is to be radical changes to regulation of the over 5’s sector or a move to provide most childcare for over 5’s within schools (especially if with a volunteer staff)  – then the government should have the decency to inform people of their full intentions and stop releasing ‘snippets of information’ that cause panic  but do not support business planning.

  • There is reference to ‘a first stage of ‘deregulation

Just what is the second stage? will there be a third or even more stages?

The childminding sector is particularly concerned because due to the ideas put forward by Elizabeth Truss, and by the ‘standard’ replies and therefore complete ignoring of the questions asked by all the childminders that have written to the DfE, Sarah Teather, Ofsted (including Wilshaw) and their MP’s  – they fear not only for their businesses – but also about the impact on choice for parents and the safeguarding of children.

However it is also clear from Gove’s comments than others in the early years sector are not going to be spared from deregulation in some shape or form.

Therefore those providing childcare for the early years – our very youngest children from birth to starting school – also need to know what the governments final goal is – and the timescale.

My fear is that if the government is not transparent about its intentions that many will leave the childcare sector through fear of  being unable to maintain their business and their profession – or even just leave because they cannot cope with all the stress that is being caused by the ‘unknown’ and about what ‘deregulation’ will mean to them.

If the government does not act quickly to provide full details and the timescale for its plans for the  sector there could soon be a crisis in the availability  of childcare places and reduced choice for parents.

Although I am personally very concerned about my childcare business and the potential ‘down grading’ of my professional status as a registered childminder – my main concern is about the children.

Not only do I believe that sooner or later a child will be the center of a ‘headline’ safeguarding case as a result of deregulation – I also think children’s emotional well being is going to at risk as childcare settings close or stop providing care for certain age groups, or end up with increased ratio’s that will impact on providers ability to provide the support that young children need to become secure in those important three prime areas. The government is saying the three prime areas are paramount and then are proposing changes that will at best hinder and at worse prevent children from achieving.

HOWEVER – maybe this is not the governments objective? Maybe they do a have a sensible plan that will ensure all children can receive high quality childcare and education?

If that is the case – PLEASE will MR. Gove and his colleagues  provide the full details – and treat us with the respect our profession deserves.

I personally have had enough of consultations that ask closed questions, responses to letters that ‘say nothing’, and worse of all being left to speculate and worry about not only my future but that of the children in my care – and indeed the children in our country.

 

3 responses to “7th August – my thoughts on Gove comments about ‘deregulation’

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  1. Pingback: Childminder Deregulation Blog - Please Read

  2. Pingback: Childminders in England and Wales (and UK General Discussion) - Page 58

  3. Pingback: Commission on Childcare | laurachildcare

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