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Childcare Ratios and Agencies Update

Children & Families Bill: Childminder Agencies and Childcare Ratios

The House of Lords this week continued to debate amendments to the Children and Families Bill. In particular, they discussed amendments around Childminder Agencies and childcare ratios.

Children and Young People Now have published a story on these debates, including a quote from Liz Bayram, PACEY's Chief Executive. You can find it here:  http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1140517/attempt-legally-limit-childcare-ratios-fails%20%20

Commenting on the debate in the Lords, Liz Bayram said: 

"Despite the sector’s concerns around increasing child to carer ratios in registered Childcare settings, which were supported by the Deputy Prime Minister, we are disappointed that an amendment to set current ratios in law as part of the Children and Families Bill has been removed at the Lord's Committee stage. This is a missed opportunity for government to show its commitment to high quality childcare and to demonstrate that it has recognized the legitimate concerns of the Childcare professionals carrying out this important job every day. Our 35,000 members are clear that increasing ratios will be bad for children. The door now stands open for government to change ratios much more easily in future.

"Equally disappointing is that the proposals for childminder agencies remain in the bill, without the amendments that would have retained individual Ofsted inspection for all agency childminders. This is despite widespread evidence and concern from parents and childminders around their Impact on the safety, quality and sustainability of childminding. PACEY will continue to work with its childminder members to ensure they understand agencies are optional, and to lobby for continued support for childminders who decide NOT to join an agency.  Whilst there is a further reading of the bill in the Lords before it becomes law, PACEY now recognises the chance to make further changes is much reduced."