Linking ‘More affordable Childcare’ to the new consultation on regulation of childcare   2 comments

Today – 16th July the government published a lot of documents – but the two I am going to look at are these two;

Link to More Affordable Childcare

Link to consultation on Regulation of Childcare

So taken from More Affordable Childcare (in bold)  and linking to the bits in consultation on regulation of childcare (not in bold)

Helping schools to offer affordable after school and holiday care, either alone or working with private and voluntary providers;

2.5 Out-of-hours care for children in Reception class

Many school-aged children, including those in Reception year, receive childcare outside the normal school timetable, for example at breakfast clubs or during the holidays. Parents and children are of course right to expect that this provision is safe, and the government will reaffirm the expectation that out-of-hours providers meet essential welfare and safeguarding requirements. But the current arrangements also include, for children who are also in reception class, a requirement for out-of-hours providers to be guided by the learning and development requirements of the EYFS. The government considers that this is excessive for this type of care: children will experience sufficient learning and development activity during their school day. The government therefore proposes to remove the learning and development requirement for out-of-hours providers, in relation to children attending Reception class.

2.6 Staff deployment

The government proposes to remove requirements that prescribe staffing and qualification levels in relation to childcare provided for school-aged children (up to age seven) outside the school day in order to align out of school provision with the requirements that govern the safety of children during the school day.

2.7

 Currently, providers other than childminders on the compulsory part of the GCR must observe a minimum of one adult to eight                children. The manager must hold a relevant level 3 qualification and half of all other staff must hold a relevant level 2 qualification. For providers on the voluntary part of the GCR, at least one member of staff must have a relevant level 2 qualification, or training in the core skills as set out in the document ‘common core of skills and knowledge for the children’s workforce’. Apart from childminders, most providers on the GCR are before/after-school clubs, or holiday clubs, where children should be free to relax, experience new things and/or develop new skills. They offer a break from the more structured learning they experience in the classroom. Parents rightly demand that childcare should be safe, and the government is strengthening safety measures – for example by requiring all providers to have at least one person trained in child protection. However, it is sensible that other requirements should be aligned with those in place during the school day.

2.8

The staff qualification and ratios requirements will also be removed for providers (other than childminders) registered on the EYR and offering care outside the school day or in school holidays for children attending reception class. This will ensure consistency between requirements for these providers and providers of similar care for older children and the requirements that govern these children during the school day.

2.11 Multiple premises

The government intends to introduce greater flexibility for providers by enabling them to register multiple premises through a single registration process. Currently, providers are required to submit separate registration applications for each set of premises in which they intend to offer childcare. This may be discouraging providers from setting up new, or expanding existing, provision. In particular, for schools wanting to engage other providers to offer out-of-hours (‘wraparound’) care on suitable school premises. The requirements can also discourage registered childminders from expanding their business by operating on suitable non-domestic premises for part of the working week or during school holidays. The government proposes to enable providers to register more than one set of suitable premises in a single process, and to notify Ofsted of any new premises without having to complete a new application to register each individual premises.  When they are notified of new premises, Ofsted will continue to satisfy themselves as now that each of the premises is suitable, both at registration and inspection.

Enabling nurseries to expand by reducing red tape and removing planning restrictions;

2.5 Out-of-hours care for children in Reception class

Many school-aged children, including those in Reception year, receive childcare outside the normal school timetable, for example at breakfast clubs or during the holidays. Parents and children are of course right  to expect that this provision is safe, and the government will reaffirm the expectation that out-of-hours providers meet essential welfare and safeguarding requirements. But the current arrangements also include, for children who are also in reception class, a requirement for out-of-hours providers to be guided by the learning and development requirements of the EYFS. The government considers that this is excessive for this type of care: children will experience sufficient learning and development activity during their school day. The government therefore proposes to remove the learning and development requirement for out-of-hours providers, in relation to children attending Reception class.

2.9

The government will clarify a particular aspect of existing ratio requirements, to remove possible ambiguity in this area. The EYFS (paras 3.32-3.36) includes a requirement for providers to observe a 1:13 ratio with children aged three and over, when deploying a teacher (or Early Years Professionals or other full and relevant Level 6 qualification). We expect the teacher to be working with children for the vast majority of time. Where they need to be absent for short periods of time the provider will need to ensure that quality and safety is maintained. In addition, the government proposes to remove the restriction on providers’ deployment of the 1:13 ratio for three and four years olds. Currently, this ratio can only be applied between 8am and 4pm. The government intends to extend the ratio to any times when a teacher (or EYP etc.) is working with three and four year olds.

2.7

Currently, providers other than childminders on the compulsory part of the GCR must observe a minimum of one adult to eight children. The manager must hold a relevant level 3 qualification and half of all other staff must hold a relevant level 2 qualification. For providers on the voluntary part of the GCR, at least one member of staff must have a relevant level 2 qualification, or training in the core skills as set out in the document ‘common core of skills and knowledge for the children’s workforce’. Apart from childminders, most providers on the GCR are before/after-school clubs, or holiday clubs, where children should be free to relax, experience new things and/or develop new skills. They offer a break from the more structured learning they experience in the classroom. Parents rightly demand that childcare should be safe, and the government is strengthening safety measures – for example by requiring all providers to have at least one person trained in child protection. However, it is sensible that other requirements should be aligned with those in place during the school day.

2.11 Multiple premises

The government intends to introduce greater flexibility for providers by enabling them to register multiple premises through a single registration process. Currently, providers are required to submit separate registration applications for each set of premises in which they intend to offer childcare. This may be discouraging providers from setting up new, or expanding existing, provision. In particular, for schools wanting to engage other providers to offer out-of-hours (‘wraparound’) care on suitable school premises. The requirements can also discourage registered childminders from expanding their business by operating on suitable non-domestic premises for part of the working week or during school holidays. The government proposes to enable providers to register more than one set of suitable premises in a single process, and to notify Ofsted of any new premises without having to complete a new application to register each individual premises.  When they are notified of new premises, Ofsted will continue to satisfy themselves as now that each of the premises is suitable, both at registration and inspection.

Ensuring that childminders and nurseries that are good or outstanding can automatically receive Government funding for two, three and four year olds; 

This is not covered in the consultation document but is mentioned more fully in the More Affordable Childcare document, as follows;

All good and outstanding childminders and nurseries will automatically be eligible to receive Government early education funding from September. At the moment local authorities act as gatekeepers to this funding. This change will mean that over eighty per cent of nurseries and over seventy per cent of childminders would be able to receive this funding. Less than ten per cent of childminders currently offer funded places. This reform will help create a fairer market for childminders, which alongside the introduction of childminder agencies should see increased choice for parents who want high quality home-based care.

Supporting parents to access more informal care.

2.10 Hours threshold

The government proposes to support parents to make common sense, informal arrangements with their friends and neighbours by increasing the amount of time that a child can be looked after from two to three hours.  Two hours a day is overly restrictive for parents needing more informal care either side of the school day. By raising the threshold to three hours before providers need to register, the government aims to further expand the supply of flexible childcare that supports working parents.

In addition direct from More Affordable Childcare, this statement;

The Government wants to make it easier for nurseries and childminders to expand by extending the planning relaxations recently introduced for state-funded schools to nurseries, such as using vacant office space.

 

I hope this explains the link between the ‘grand statements’ in More Affordable Childcare and the proposed changes to regulation

 

I have to say the cynic in me say that it appears that like the sister document More Great Childcare – all of this has already been agreed on – otherwise More Affordable Childcare is not worth the paper it is written on.

I will comment about my personal thoughts later in a blog specifically about More Affordable Childcare

 

2 responses to “Linking ‘More affordable Childcare’ to the new consultation on regulation of childcare

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  1. Thanks Penny for sharing, look forward to your comments.

  2. It’s such depressing reading. I was initially quite happy with the proposal of scrapping EYFS for reception children as I only care for school children and this would take out all that learning and development paperwork for me. However! Reading between the lines, I see that I will probably not have ANY school children to care for at all because they will all be at afterschool clubs who can charge peanuts because one adult will be able to care for 20 children (for example). As you say …..’Any point in continuing……with a job I love and in my opinion think I am good at?’

    Janis Phillimore

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