As the weeks go on, more and more childcare professionals are protesting against the proposed changes outlined in the Department of Educations report; ‘More Great Childcare: Raising Quality & Giving Parents More Choice’.
In particular, recent news has prompted discussions around ratio changes, and the detrimental effects it could have on childcare in poorer areas.
According to the BBC, The Daycare Trust, who recently merged with the Family and Parenting Institute, warns that:
“Plans to increase the number of children per nursery worker could lead to a two-tier system, with a drop in quality in poor areas, and that nurseries in disadvantaged areas, where lower fees are charged, are more likely to raise childcare ratios.
The result will be that children from low income families will be more likely to receive childcare from providers with the highest ratios and get less attention and support from staff’.”
At a recent childcare conference, The Pre-School Learning Alliance’s chief executive, Neil Leitch said:
‘Never in the past 12 years have I seen so much hostility towards a single initiative as this one. Why? Because we believe it entirely conflicts with the aim of putting the child first.’
A recent survey by The Daycare Trust also found that, 94% of group day care providers thought the quality of their childcare would diminish if ratios were altered.
We also published in a recent article, ‘Deprived areas receive worse childcare‘, that the Think Tank Policy Exchange found that 79% of childminders and nurseries in better-off neighbourhoods were judged by Ofsted to be “Good” or “Outstanding”, compared with 64% in the most deprived areas.
Ministers are due to make a further announcement soon. In the meantime, as a childcare professional do you believe that nurseries in disadvantaged areas, where lower fees are charged, are more likely to raise childcare ratios? We would love to hear you views on this.