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Government abandons planned changes to ratios

Liz Bayram, Joint Chief Executive, PACEY said today, "PACEY is relieved to hear that the Deputy Prime Minister has announced he will not go ahead with proposals to change current childcare ratios.

"PACEY, with the support of our members- childminders, nannies and nursery workers - has continually
lobbied Government to ensure it understands the quality and safety concerns of both childcare professionals and parents around increasing ratios.

"Whilst today's announcement is good news for children and families, there remains a great deal of sector concern around other Government childcare proposals. We share the same ambition as Government, to provide children and families with high quality affordable childcare but believe there needs to be a more full and open discussion with the sector, parents and others around how to make this a reality.

"Ratio change is just one aspect of what appears to be a number of conflicting government proposals that have in recent weeks have only served to confuse parents and professionals. For example, on one hand Ofsted has said it wants to improve the quality of childcare and is going to focus its inspection on providers requiring improvement. On the other, Government is proposing to remove the Local Authority statutory duty that ensures these providers get the training and support they need to improve.

There are proposals to help improve the qualifications of nursery workers but no clear plan to improve qualifications for childminders. The only option that has been put forward is for childminders to join an agency if they wish, which has been roundly rejected by those working in the sector, as likely to reduce quality and increase costs for childminders.

PACEY hopes Mr Clegg's announcement indicates that Government is now going to engage in a more open
discussion on the way forward."