Back to news listing

Next article

PACEY welcomes new minister

Victoria Flint, PACEY's Head of Communications has said: “The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) welcomes the new education minister Sam Gyimah MP to his new role in government overseeing childcare and early years policy. We look forward to working with Mr Gyimah and his team to address some of the most pressing challenges for families and childcare professionals during a critical time for the sector.

“One of the key challenges over the coming year is ensuring that families have access to flexible, affordable and high quality childcare, especially those living in disadvantage. To achieve this, we need a childcare and early years workforce programme that attracts new entrants into the profession and supports existing childcare professionals to improve their level of expertise, across the full range of settings.

“We’d like to see Mr Gyimah propose an effective way to address the current shortfall experienced by many childcare professionals who receive the free early years entitlement. Increasing this funding to an appropriate level would enable registered childcare providers to invest in the quality staff that all the evidence shows supports better outcomes for children, particularly the most disadvantaged.

“If the Government is to meet its targets for increasing uptake of the free entitlement, we need to make it easier for all types of early years settings, including home-based providers, to access the funding from their local authority. We know that high quality childminders working in domestic settings are struggling to receive free entitlement funding, which limits accessibility and choice for parents and we would welcome measures to ensure that this is addressed.

“Whatever setting parents choose for their children, PACEY wants the provision to be of the highest possible quality. We would like to see a renewed commitment to ensuring that all early years settings support children’s emotional, social and physical development on an equal footing with academic attainment. Evidence shows that childcare delivered through a play-based approach to learning is vital in helping children become confident, independent, and to instil in them a lifelong love of learning; making them ready not just for school but for their later lives, too.

“With childminder agencies due to become legal entities this September, we will be scrutinising the agencies’ registration and inspection frameworks to ensure that parents can be assured of high quality – and safe – childcare for their families. We are keen to work with Mr Gyimah and his team to ensure that agency childminders continue to provide quality experiences for children, and receive support from the agency to improve the quality of the care they offer through training and development. We will also be interested to see a clear outline from the minister of how he plans to support childminders who choose not to join an agency.

“Above all, we are interested in exploring with Mr Gyimah our ideas for supporting greater recognition of the fantastic skills, efforts and expertise of childcare professionals, who work every day to give the youngest in society the very best start in life.”