Plans to let nurseries and childminders in England look after more children have been abandoned, the Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has confirmed. This is from the BBC…
The changes, which were due to come in this autumn, would have allowed an increase in the ratio of children to carers, as long as carers’ qualifications met new standards.
But Ms Truss told MPs there had been a failure to secure government agreement.
The change was signalled by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg last week.
Mr Clegg had telephoned leaders in the childcare sector last Wednesday morning and told them the plans were “dead in the water”.
Now, on Tuesday, speaking during a report stage debate on the Children and Families Bill, Ms Truss confirmed the plans would be dropped, saying there had been a failure to secure coalition government agreement on the issue.
She told the Commons the proposals had been “in line with best practice” on the continent.
“I firmly believe these flexibilities would allow nurseries to offer more choice of high quality childcare places, invest additional revenue in attracting the best staff, and reduce cost for parents,” she said.
“However, as I have already made clear… it has not been possible to reach cross government agreement so we are not proceeding with this reform.
“This will not stop me from working to make affordable, quality childcare available to all. I am absolutely committed to this goal – it is a matter of pressing need.”
The chairman of the Education Select Committee, Graham Stuart, described Mr Clegg’s behaviour surrounding the childcare ratios as “shameful”.
So if this proposal is now dead, how else can nursery care be made more affordable in an acceptable manner? Please let us know your thoughts and ideas on Twitter or in the comments. if you are involved in nursery education and would like to write a guest post about the issues please get in touch using this form.