Penny’s Involvement with the Save Childhood Movement , the Too Much, Too Soon campaign and petition   Leave a comment

Penny wonders how many people have heard of the Save Childhood Movement?

You can be forgiven if you haven’t heard about it because it is  very new,  only being launched  in April 2013. at the Flourish Summit. Penny was there at the summit – as were hundreds of other people. You can read about the Flourish Summit  here Flourish Summit Website

You can also read Penny’s own feedback from the Flourish Summit ;

Part One of Penny’s Flourish Summit feedback

Part two of Penny’s Flourish Summit feedback

Part three of Penny’s Flourish summit feedback

However although the Save Childhood Movement is very new – it is actually the bringing together of several campaigns, many of which have been around for a long time  including Early Childhood Action and Open EYE  which may be more familiar names – and many different people and organisations all of whom share a common belief – that in this country  inappropriate polices are preventing children from ……………….. well from being children  and that something has to be done to protect children’s rights.

When you break down how much needs to be challenged and changed – it can seem an almost impossible task as there is so much that is not as it should be, to enable children to flourish and and reach their full potential.

Some reading this may think Penny is being a little dramatic, but Penny is not alone  you can read  the key messages from the Flourish Summit  HERE

So how did Penny become  involved?

Well, of course those who know Penny well, will know that Penny is quite vocal in objecting to formal curriculum’s, testing of young children, lack of child led play, lack of outside play and so on.

Some may even know about Penny’s long involvement with the Pre school Learning Alliance (and the former Pre School Playgroup Association) which believes in learning through play, the rights of children and supporting families and children.

A few may know that Penny herself has a strong personal ethos of helping others and volunteering,

Penny guesses though that not many will know that Penny has been a supporter of Early Childhood Action and Open EYE – almost from the beginning – although regular readers of this blog will know that Penny attended the Early Action Conference in October 2012 – you can read Penny’s feedback HERE

It is therefore easy to see how the Save Childhood Movement encompasses Penny’s personal values, ethos and principles and to understand why Penny would want to be a supporter

However – Penny is more than just a supporter, she is actively involved and how that came about was to be honest –  a bit of a surprise to Penny!

Penny had made contact in relation to the first UK Children’s Day – as follows;

I may be known to some of you as I have been a supporter. If you don’t know me or of me – a look at this site will explain who I am and my campaign against proposals in MGC.

This is a fantastic idea and I shall be promoting it as widely as I can, including on the One Voice site as this day is all about the things I believe in and the government are trying to prevent.

I have been thinking about  a day to celebrate childhood and a means to come together to say that we object to the governments plans.

Therefore I wondered if there was anyway we could join together to get our message across – The Children’s rights – which are clearly not part of the governments plans.

I am not sure how we could do it but maybe something on the lines of This is what we believe is right and support – this is what we believe is wrong and don’t support.

Please let me know asap if you think we can work in partnership on this.

I will be at the Flourish Summit

Best Wishes

Penny Webb
Registered Childminder


And then Penny received a reply, part of which said  ;

 ‘would you be interested in joining our Early Years Advisory Group?’


So there we are – Penny said ‘YES PLEASE’  to the invitation to join the Early Years Advisory Board of the  Save Childhood Movement – and her campaign against the proposals for increased ratio in early years settings (and now More Great Childcare in general) were linked via the website.

Penny has to say not only was she surprised but also very honoured to have been given the opportunity to not only be involved but to help inform decisions made and the way forward., not only from a personal perspective but as a representative of the childminding community. Although Penny is not the CEO or director of a national organisation that represents childminders, Penny does have links with a lot of registered childminders all over the country – and is a member of all the national organisations that represent childminders, and therefore feels that she is in a position to represent childminders through sharing  their views and opinions – and of course by passing on information via her blog, the One Voice website and the Together for Quality One Voice Facebook group.

That then is the history as to how Penny became involved with the Save Childhood Movement – If you are interested click HERE to visit the Save Childhood Movement website

Now for what is going to be happening in the future

First a petition has been started because – wording taken from the Too Much, Too Soon website

‘We think that children in England are being badly let down by the system. Our children start formal learning much earlier than elsewhere in the world, they are put under all sorts of developmentally inappropriate pressures that damage their heath and wellbeing and now even their play is being eroded. Boys and summer-born children  are particularly disadvantaged by the current system and can carry the consequences throughout their lives. We think this issue is just too important to ignore and are bringing people together to call for urgent change’

You can sign the petition by clicking HERE

You can visit the Too Much, Too Soon website HERE

Please Note – If getting confused by all the different links – think of Save Childhood Movement as an umbrella body – because as Penny said at the beginning Save Childhood Movement brings together a lot of different organisations – and each has its own identity and aims.

Second there is a letter going out to the media about the Too much, Too Soon  Campaign – the list of signatures is impressive (and does include Penny’s  – although Penny does not consider her signature to be impressive), the signatures are still being added to, ahead of the letter being published.  Look out for it – it will also be published on the website  – so hopefully everyone will have the opportunity to read it

Third Penny has been tasked with forming a Childminding Advisory Group, and to submit the wording for the groups section on the website – quite a challenge but something that Penny is delighted to do.

So far initial invites have been sent out to leading people in the childminding world to join the Childminding Advisory Group and responses are coming in

Neil Leitch CEO Pre-School Learning Alliance has agreed to be involved

UKCMA have agreed to be involved

PACEY have expressed an interest and are meeting with Wendy Ellyatt (who is the director and founding member of Save Childhood Movement) to discuss their general involvement

ICM – SE have yet to respond

Sarah Neville has declined the invitation due to her other commitments

Once the group is up and running, the group members will decide who else should be invited to be involved.


Penny is personally very excited about taking this forward and hopes that through the Save Childhood Movement, that the early years sector will all unite and have a platform from which to share information and support each other – and more importantly through their combined voice influence policy decisions and reverse the relentless drive towards ‘school readiness’ and ‘mini adulthood’

Each child has his or her own individual needs and rights – which as adults we should ensure are acknowledged and protected.

Childhood should be valued and preserved – not rushed through to reach adulthood as quickly as possible

Registered Childminders have a key role to play and by providing childcare in a home environment are able to provide high quality care and education that meets every child’s individual need without a  formal curriculum, tick list assessment  or set timetables.

Please take the time to look at the Save Childhood website Click HERE


Posted August 17, 2013 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

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