PACEY hosting a live Q&A session

PACEY hosting a live Q&A session

If you have a question about the childcare sector, the role of childcare professionals or what you'd like to see happening in the wider childcare policy agenda, you might be interested to join an online debate tomorrow at 9am.

#askPACEY is a new way for you to engage with the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years. Chief Executive, Liz Bayram, and President, Penny Tassoni, will be online between 9am and 11am to answer your questions.

The Q&A session is open to anyone including parents and childcare professionals (you don’t need to be a PACEY member to ask a question). The goal is to engage everyone interested in early years childcare and child development in a respectful and engaging Q&A session.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, said:

‘We’re looking forward to hearing directly from parents and childcare professionals – whether members or non-members – to find out their key concerns around childcare in the year ahead.

We’re currently seeing rapid change within the sector, from the opposition’s proposals to extend free entitlement and the government’s doubling of early years bursaries – to the introduction of childminder agencies and a gradual shift towards the formalisation of early years settings.

We know that many families are struggling to secure high quality childcare and have important questions to ask over how to find the right kind of provider, as well as how to ensure that they’re children are receiving the best quality of care possible. I hope that in this session we can offer valuable guidance and advice that will help both families and childcare professionals across the country.

I’m excited that this session will be the first of many in which we can communicate the work we’re doing to drive quality of care within the sector whilst responding directly to concerns from families and childcare professionals.’

Penny Tassoni, President of PACEY, said:

‘I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with parents and childcare professionals, and to offer my advice on how best they might support children's development.’ 

You can submit questions in advance in the following ways:

More information on the PACEY website

New loans set to boost childcare training for adult learners

New loans set to boost childcare training for adult learners

Advanced Learning Loan ideal for independent childcare providers

If you are 24 or over and an independent childcare worker, a new Government initiative is set to open the door for further training.   The new 24+ Advanced Learning Loan will enable the more than 53,000 childminders across the UK, who might not have previously been eligible, to now access a loan to fund a training course and help them to progress in their business.

As one of the UK’s largest childcare training providers, Parenta Training  knows full well that in the highly competitive market, qualifications can play a key part in securing business success.  With approximately 1500 learners on their nationally recognised childcare courses at any one time, Parenta’s training division is rapidly growing and this new loan could see many more adults reap the benefits of their courses and enhance the service they offer to parents and children.

The 24+ Advanced Learning Loan initiative was introduced to give learners who are 24 and over studying at Level 3, Level 4 or Advanced and Higher apprenticeships the opportunity to pay for courses through loans from the 1st August 2013.  Repayments don’t start until April 2016 and you won’t have to pay anything back until you earn more than £21,000 a year. 

“It’s vitally important that people continue to invest in their education throughout their career rather than just at the start,” said Allan Presland, Managing Director of Parenta. “The new loan scheme will open the door for many self-employed childminders to gain a new qualification,  which will benefit their careers and raise standards across the industry.”

Working with hundreds of nurseries across England and Wales, Parenta specialises in helping people build a career in childcare offering training programmes that deliver qualifications ranging from Apprenticeships and Level 2 through to Level 5 and Assessor Awards.

UK families face highest costs for childcare: Average weekly nursery bill is £160

UK families face highest costs for childcare: Average weekly nursery bill is £160

Working mothers have to fork out more for childcare in Britain than in any other country in the developed world.

A third of UK family income goes towards nurseries and childminders - almost four times the cost in Germany and three times that of France.

Charities say the exorbitant costs – which can reach £20,000 per child – are down to the fact that the Government targets state help for childcare towards those on lower incomes, pushing up costs for others.

It means the middle classes are bearing the brunt of spiralling costs, leaving them with bills of more than £160 a week on average for nursery places.


Review highlights gaps in childcare in Wales

Review highlights gaps in childcare in Wales

Providing childcareSignificant gaps in the provision of emergency, out-of-school, and holiday childcare provision across Wales have been highlighted in a review.

The Welsh Assembly Government looked at data collected in 22 council areas.

There are also fears that the situation could get worse because budget cuts and changes to the benefits system mean more parents are looking for provision.

The assembly government said: "The needs of children and families are extremely important".

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