Since the announcement by Children’s Minister, Liz Truss that the Coalition were to increase the ratio of children to carers as long as carers qualifications met new standards, there have been childcare professionals lining up to dismiss the proposals saying care quality would suffer.
So it didn’t come as a surprise yesterday when Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg telephoned leaders in the childcare sector yesterday, telling them the plans were “dead in the water”.
Mr Clegg was later quoted as saying, “When you are talking about something this important to parents, I think it is imperative to be led by the evidence – which is overwhelmingly against changing the rules on ratios.”
Childcare charities were pleased with the U-turn, as were the majority of parents, with Nick Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance saying, “We are absolutely delighted that the Deputy Prime Minister has intervened and listened to the concerns and evidence gathered by the sector, parents and early years experts which dismantled the arguments for taking forward this ill-advised plan”.
He went on to add, “The sector is supportive of the government aims to raise the status and quality of the childcare workforce. But this was not the way to achieve this.”
The proposed changes would have seen ratios for two year olds rise from 4 children per adult carer to 6 and for children under the age of one from 3 children per adult carer to 4.
We are always looking to ways to improve childcare, but believe this must be born out of consultation between Government agencies and childcare professionals and not a unilateral decision.
So in summary Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries welcome the decision and look forward to continuing to offer excellent care to children at a very important stage of their educational development.