Monday 24th June 2013 – I am going to be blunt …..   2 comments

……………………………This is the week that UKCMA have arranged a meeting with representatives of the House of Lords to discuss our concerns about More Great Childcare and in particular Childminding Agencies.

UKCMA have been gathering views by asking for them to be emailed to them opinions@ukcma.co.uk – the response has been positive but compared to the number of childminders in the country not very representative.

I have set up a petition with the aim being to get the the Government to Stop, Listen and Consult about proposals within More Great Childcare – the most urgent of which is childminding agencies. The petition now has 2,681 signatures – again positive BUT as the petition is open to all – just a drop in the ocean compared to the population of this country.

SO people of this country – YES all of you – it is your duty to stand up and speak for the children of this country, as they can’t speak for themselves – therefore what message do YOU want us to take to the government about their proposals in More Great Childcare?

A) You are very happy with the Governments proposals in More Great Childcare and think they are in the best interests of children?

In which case you need do nothing

B) You have concerns that the proposals within More Great Childcare are not in the best interests of children and need to discussed further through consultation with parents and the early years sector?

IN WHICH CASE – YOU NEED TO SEND YOUR VIEWS TO UKCMA and SIGN THE PETITION – BECAUSE THIS MEETING THAT UKCMA HAVE ARRANGED IS THE GOVERNMENT CONSULTING WITH US.

THEY ARE GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO TELL THEM WHY WE DON’T THINK THEIR PROPOSALS ARE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN. THIS CAN BE DONE THROUGH COMMENTS AND SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION WHICH WILL BE HANDED TO THEM AT THE MEETING

THEY ARE GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO TELL WHAT WE WANT INSTEAD OF CHILDMINDING AGENCIES THROUGH EMAILING OUR VIEWS TO UKCMA – AGAIN WHICH WILL BE GIVEN TO THEM AT THE MEETING

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION NOW.

Link to Stop, Listen, Consult petition
PLEASE SEND YOUR VIEWS TO UKCMA.

Link to UKCMA website
PLEASE DON’T WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY.

PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW

Sorry to be so blunt – but I am very frustrated that the people of this country can sign in their tens of thousands petitions about pasties, or fuel rises (which they should to show strength of feeling) BUT only a few sign a petition to ensure the views of the early years sector, parents and childcare experts are listened to, so the children of this country have the the right to care and education that meets their needs rather than Government targets to cut budgets.

The early years sector want to reduce childcare costs to parents – and have valid ideas about how this can be achieved without putting children’s right to high quality care and education at risk

Thank you for reading

2 responses to “Monday 24th June 2013 – I am going to be blunt …..

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  1. So right Penny, everyone must get involved. Liz Truss said the following at last week’s NDNA conference….

    The importance of collaboration by Liz Truss
    I also think it’s important that parents have a choice of different types of provision and that we have more collaboration between them. So nurseries, childminders, and schools.

    Childminder numbers – and especially the number of younger childminders – have fallen over the last 20 years. We are working on a policy of childminder agencies to improve the numbers of childminders and provide a high-training, high-quality access route into the profession.
    Agencies will be inspected by Ofsted, and be a source of business and other practical help. They will be self-financing and independent of government. It will not be obligatory to join them, but new childminders – and many existing ones – may well find that agencies offer a support network and a more secure way of working.

    Over 60 organisations have expressed an interest in working with us to trial elements of childminder agencies. They are a mix ranging from nursery chains to individual childminders, academies, maintained schools, national childcare organisations, children’s centres and local authorities.

    We’re going to be working on testing out the concept, testing out the business model, and the regulatory system. But I can reassure you that Ofsted will be keeping a very close eye on the childminders within those agencies to make sure that quality is maintained during that process.
    Once we’ve completed the trials we will then consult on the regulation around childminder agencies.

    Those who remain independent will not be formally or informally compelled to join an agency. But I strongly hope that this will increase the number of childminders in our system and also more of a seamless service for parents will be very attractive. It will also provide a one-stop shop for parents where they want it.

    I also want us to see more collaboration between schools and private, voluntary and independent nurseries. I know this does happen where schools will have an offer for age 4 and up, and they will also have a PVI provider onsite. I know it works very well at present.

    I recently visited the free school in Norwich which offers onsite, affordable childcare as part of their pre-school and post-school service. They collaborate with the local nursery, so the nursery provides staff for the after-school club and the pre-school club. It’s called the Squirrels Club and it works very well and they’ve adjusted their shift patterns to cope with the work at the school and the work at the nursery.

    I think some of these models are very interesting for busy parents who may have a younger child and an older child and would like a single site to operate on. I see really strong scope for more collaboration between the PVI sector and schools offering seamless provision for parents.
    The other thing about the Norwich free school is that it is open for 51 weeks of the year, which I know will be no surprise to anybody in this room but it is quite unusual in the schools sector.

    We’re also looking at engaging businesses and other organisations in childcare and again I know this happens frequently, and I quoted the case of the Home Office earlier. But other organisations have a strong interest in making sure that parents have access to high-quality childcare.

    Rainbows nursery, which is part of RAF Marham in my constituency – and which was set up by the RAF itself – is absolutely brilliant. It’s a really good example of how nurseries can cater to the particular needs of parents. Quite often these children will find that their mother or father is going away for quite long deployments and the nursery staff is specifically trained to deal with these issues. I think it’s a really good example of how an employer can collaborate with an independent nursery to create a really good setting that suits those children and those parents.

  2. Hi Penny
    thank you for the reminder, I have already sent my comments to UKCMA but forgot to sign the petition. I have now signed and have forwarded link to everyone in my contact list. It is no time for us to expect everyone else to do it for us we all need to act.

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