So what will happen to all the support provided by early years settings?   1 comment

OK,  so it not a secret that I have started a petition urging the government not to change the ratios in early years settings.

And so it won’t surprise many that this blog post is connected to the petition.

I have been thinking about the wider picture, about all the ‘extra’ services provided by early years settings of all types.


In particular I am thinking about children and families who need extra support either in the short term – or on a ongoing basis.

Some examples;

Parent would like some advice on teething, or potty training, or weaning, or any of the other things that parents might just want a quick chat about at drop off or collection time.

And it is a requirement of EYFS 2012 that we discuss things with parents and support them with things that concern the child

So my question is – ‘How will early years practitioners manage this if they have more children to actually be providing hands on care for – and more parents who might need that ‘quick chat’?


Parent arrives very upset, child is clinging to parent and does not want parent to go. It is clear that both parent and child need some support – a chat, maybe some private space and a offer of a cup of tea (or similar). The reason maybe easy to resolve, it maybe more serious – for example money worries, ill health, domestic violence, marriage / partner problems – or just at breaking point about any number of things.

So my question is ‘How can time be found to support parent and child – either just on that one occasion or maybe over along period of time?’


A parent tells her childminder that she will need a space for her new baby – but the childminder is already at maximum numbers. In the past it has been possible to apply for a variation – or now apply an exception to allow the children to stay together in the same setting – especially if there were other reasons why it was important to provide continuity of care.


So my question is ‘ If the childminder has increased the number of children to say 5 under fives – will the childminder be able to still apply an exception and therefore have 6 under five’s children in her care? If not what will be the impact on the child, the parent – and the childminder?


Parent is making esquires about a place for her child with addition needs, that at the moment would be able to secure a place without  additional funding  or staff.

So my question is ‘If all the settings in the area have increased the number of the children in the setting – will they be able to meet the needs of this child or will the parent have to look elsewhere – or not place her child in a childcare setting? Will the fact that the adults in the setting already be stretched to the limit mean that additional funding will have to be found ?

Social services need to place a family of 2 under fives NOW, and there are no foster carers available  – often under these circumstances in the past – special permission could be given to allow these children to be placed with a childminder or in a setting that has capacity’

So my question is – ‘What will happen to these children in the future – be left in a police station or a social services office because childcare settings already over stretched and professional judgement of setting and social services is that children’s needs will not be met in the setting due to the number of children already attending?’


These are just a few thoughts that ‘jumped into my head’ – I am sure that there are plenty of other examples that could be given.

Oh like this one

Setting has to send a member of staff home – or a childminder has to send their assistant home due to ill health or accident. Arrangements are made for parents to collect children / or for staff cover, so ratios can return to normal as soon as possible.  Currently although ‘difficult’  the remaining staff or childminder can and do manage – after all only for a short period of time.

So my question is ‘If settings have increased the number of children in the setting without increasing the number of staff (as per government proposals) how will they ‘manage – even in the short term?


If these examples have made you consider the ‘wider picture’ and you are concerned – please take a look at the petition – and if agree, sign and share with as many people as possible.




Posted January 25, 2013 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

One response to “So what will happen to all the support provided by early years settings?

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  1. We absolutely agree Penny. In thirteen years of early years provision, our team have supported families in a multitude of ways, from professional advice and signposting, to informal family support, dealing with separated parents, support through the CAF process, various additional needs, the list goes on. All of this support (unacknowledged formally by Government) will be further stretched – if non-existent. Under this ridiculous proposal, Early years practitioners would have even less time being purely focussed on safety and welfare alone. And under proposed rations, this is beyond reasonable expectations. Stand up and sign the petition for children in their early years!

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