Surely not all of More Great Childcare proposals need scrapping – so why start the Stop, Listen Consult Petition?   2 comments

I was contacted today by a childminder to explain why they had not signed the STOP, Listen, Consult petition- she contacted me because I had posted on social media a question about why the majority of childminders had not signed the Stop, Listen, Consult petition as follows;

Stop, Listen, Consult Petition Update

Now 3,645 signatures – so that means over 50,000 childminders have NOT signed. I am beginning to think that I am wrong and childminders do want to join an agency. Surely if a childminder does not want to join a childminding agency they would want to send a very clear message to the Government by signing the petition?

I, and a very small % of the total number of childminders are spending hours of our own time writing letters and blogs – and sharing information in every way that we can think off. ALL the organisations that represent childminders are against the idea of childminding agencies and are lobbying government, writing articles and sharing information. 

We are doing this because even if childminding agencies are optional and remain optional – there will be a two tier system of those childminders registered with an agency and those childminders who remain independently registered with Ofsted.

For this reason alone PLEASE sign the petition – what have you to lose by signing the petition? Or more importantly what have you to lose if you don’t sing ? – and by not doing signing send the government the message that most childminders have not said they don’t want to join an agency and therefore assume most do!

I am very grateful to the childminder for taking the time to contact me because it is always helpful to hear others view point and to look at things from a different perspective. In this case several interesting points were raised which made me reflect on things.

So first the childminder made it very clear that they were against childminding agencies and had signed the two petitions that were specifically against childminding agencies.

These ones

Link to agency government e petition

Link to change.org agency petition

I am aware of these petitions as I have personally signed both of them – and I would encourage everyone who is against agencies to sign them, as we all need to do as much as can to get the message to the Government that we do not want childminder agencies.

However the childminder who had written to me made the point that although had signed the two petitions above they felt they could not sign the Stop, Listen, Consult petition because it was calling for a blanket scrapping of More Great Childcare – and they thought some of the proposal within More Great Childcare were good proposals and should not be scrapped.

I have replied personally to the childminder to give my thanks and to explain that I agree – some of the proposals are potentially beneficially.

So why did I decide to start a petition calling for More Great Childcare to be scrapped – if I though some of the proposals had merit?

Well for several reasons;

  • First, the time issue – after the ratio issue was dropped by the Government, time was running out to start campaigning about separate aspects in turn – so in my opinion one petition seemed the best option
  • Second, I thought that if started several petitions at once for each aspect that it would lead to confusion – and quite likely dilute the support as people would only sign the one most relevant to them – so again one petition seemed to offer the best potential to gain signatures.
  • Third, I thought that if we managed to to get one or two other aspects dropped by the government – that More Great Childcare would not be a very workable document due to the aspects removed and the gaps created – so therefore  it would need re writing and if going to do that then the original document would need scrapping to make way for the revised version
  • Fourth, For me personally there was a very important principle at stake here – that of proper consultation.You see we had had the Nutbrown review and the resulting report ‘Foundations of Quality’ which a lot of people had not only fed into but on the whole were in agreement with most of Cathy Nutbrown’s recommendations. AND then the government more or less disregard the recommendations and although saying that they had taken heed of Cathy Nutbrown’s words of wisdom – they hadn’t – they had cherry picked and use things out of context. As we all know now Cathy Nutbrown herself felt so strongly that she published another report called ‘Shaking the Foundations of Quality’ In addition the consultations that started to be released before I started the Stop, Listen, Consult petition demonstrated that the government were not really consulting as there were too many closed questions, too many questions designed to produced the response the government wanted.  Therefore in my opinion – the only proper solution would be to stop the implementation of More Great Childcare – and to Listen to the concerns being expressed – and then to Consult fully.

It was never my intention that all the proposals would be dropped – just that the document More Great Childcare would be scrapped and after proper consultation through listening to parents, childcare practitioners, sector organisations, and reference to research from this country and round the world, and evidence based on practice in this country that a new document would be produced that would contain the proposals from More Great Childcare that did support the recommendation put forward after the consultations, either with or without amendment, and new proposals that would support children, families and childcare setting whilst meeting the government targets to cut budgets and streamline systems.

So to be clear the STOP, LISTEN, Consult petition is not about scrapping all the proposals within More Great Childcare – it is about scrapping the document More Great Childcare – and basically starting again and putting together a new document that contain the ‘good bits’ from More Great Childcare and ‘new bits’ to replace the bits that are causing all the concerns within the sector.

Therefore if you have not signed the Stop, Listen, Consult petition because you like some aspects of More Great Childcare – take a look at the wording on the petition site

The proposals within ‘More Great Childcare’ are not based on research or prior consultation with the Early Years sector. The victory over the ratio issues, and the responses to the Government post publication of ‘More Great Childcare’ consultations have proved that the Government ideas need to be scrapped.

It is important that full appropriate consultation with everyone involved in the Early Years sector take place BEFORE any new proposals are published or implemented

The main areas that need consultation and changes to proposals include; 
Dropping plans for childminder agencies 
The retention of the role of Local Authorities in support and quality assurance 
The early years specific qualifications

Our message is simple; 
Government – STOP, LISTEN, CONSULT

Hopefully you may now feel reassured that you can sign the Stop, Listen, Consult petition because full consultation would mean everything would be fully considered and those proposals that are in the best interests of children, families and childcare settings would remain – after all the sector is not against change that is beneficial.

Link to Stop, Listen, Consult petition

One final thought – after looking at the number of signatures on the two childminding agencies specific petitions – there are even less signatures than on the Stop,Listen, Consult petition – and even if all three petitions signatures are added together – there are still at least 90% of childminders who have not signed a petition.

So my questions and points from this morning are still valid;

I am beginning to think that I am wrong and childminders do want to join an agency. Surely if a childminder does not want to join a childminding agency they would want to send a very clear message to the Government by signing the petition?

I, and a very small % of the total number of childminders are spending hours of our own time writing letters and blogs – and sharing information in every way that we can think off. ALL the organisations that represent childminders are against the idea of childminding agencies and are lobbying government, writing articles and sharing information. 

We are doing this because even if childminding agencies are optional and remain optional – there will be a two tier system of those childminders registered with an agency and those childminders who remain independently registered with Ofsted.

For this reason alone PLEASE sign the petition – what have you to lose by signing the petition? Or more importantly what have you to lose if you don’t sing ? – and by not doing signing send the government the message that most childminders have not said they don’t want to join an agency and therefore assume most do!

Unless you want to join a childminder agency – Please sign at least one of the petitions – it does not matter which one but to hedge your bets as you won’t know which one other people will sign – and therefore number of signatures across the 3 petitions may get diluted – why not sign all three.

Posted August 24, 2013 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

2 responses to “Surely not all of More Great Childcare proposals need scrapping – so why start the Stop, Listen Consult Petition?

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Is this a new address for Ms Truss
    Elizabeth Truss MP
    Department for Education
    Castle View House
    East Lane
    Runcorn
    Cheshire WA7 2GJ

    I have signed all the petitions and wanted to write to Ms Truss. So Penny do you know if this is the correct address. Thanks

    • Hello Hillary

      Yes that is the address for the DfE and therefore Ms. Truss can be written to at that address – however it does not mean that Ms. Truss will respond personally or even read it or be told about it. There seems to be a team of people sending out standard letters at the moment from the DfE office.

      Having said that – it is still worth writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: