Liz Truss announces plan to change after-school childcare ratios

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The Childcare Minister has announced plans to change the current 1:8 staff-child ratio in after-school clubs and, instead, mirror the teacher-child ratios of infant schools.

The chosen ratio will be left to each headteacher’s discretion, but could be as much as 30 children to one qualified staff member.

Alongside this change, Liz Truss said the level of education expected from these types of breakfast- and after-school clubs would also be reduced. At present, they must conform to EYFS guidance.

In her speech, Ms Truss said:

“For anyone that’s ever rushed home from a meeting to the school gates, or sat down to work out how to balance family time and family bills, they’ll know this often feels like a challenge.

“But I think these conditions present an opportunity, because a changing economy means that parents need affordable available childcare more than ever.”

The proposal has been met with some opposition. The NDNA released a press statement, where their Chief Executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE, said:

“A change such as this also leads to questions about regulation. How often is Ofsted going to go in and inspect these settings? With an already heavy workload, after school provision operating for a few hours is bound to be less of a priority.

“Parents need to know the care they choose for their young children is properly regulated and monitored and for that to happen, the balance between regulation and flexibility must be correct.”

She was, however, more supportive of the announcement to remove the level of education required:

“We are pleased the Government has listened to our concerns around out of school providers having to follow the learning and development requirements of EYFS for children who are in reception class full time. By removing that particular piece of red tape children, who have already had a full day at school, will be able to spend their free time relaxing, playing and having fun.”

Do you think this will benefit after-school clubs or will standards suffer? Is it a good thing that play will be more of a focus than education? Leave your comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Liz Truss announces plan to change after-school childcare ratios

  • February 25, 2014 at 9:13 am
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    i think removing the focus on education would be a good thing as the children just want to relax and actually learn how to play as some children find this difficult. The ratio needs to stay as it is open to abuse removing it and reducing adult supervision would be asking for incidents to happen within a setting.

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  • February 25, 2014 at 9:00 am
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    The present ratios work well and ensure that each child has a full range of stimulating or quiet opportunities. The less people the less choice, less safety, less time to talk to individuals.- not a good idea.

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  • February 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm
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    Here we go again, when will she ever give up on thos ropic of reducing ratio’s and qualification levels of practitioners? How will this latest plan benifit the children?

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  • February 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm
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    All seven areas are play based anyway so providing you are giving the children these opportunities it’s covered already. Changes were made in 2012 around the early years framework therefore as a provider it’s old news. 1:30 ratios seems crazy tho I might add.

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