2016 has been an eventful year and here at PACEY we want to share some of the things that have happened for us and our members.
We kicked off the year with celebrations as our former Vice President, David Lane (pictured right), was awarded a CBE for services to Childcare and Social Work, in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.
January also saw us publish our Workforce Development policy briefing that called on the Government to provide more support and progression routes to new and existing Early Years practitioners.
February saw PACEY members speaking out to defend the childminding profession as a nursery manager made an ill-advised comment on national TV. We represented our members as Liz Bayram spoke on Woman's Hour and we got a response from Good Morning Britain. PACEY Cymru received a response from Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty in the Welsh Government, that addressed the planning issues faced by registered Childminders.
In March we ran the Working in Partnership with Schools event with Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah. The event launched the findings of our successful Starting School Together project. We looked at supporting parents as our Return to Work research was announced. The survey found that some 90% of mums said they felt anxious about returning to work after having a child and offered advice for parents and childcare professionals on how to help them manage this important transition.
April brought about changes as the Baseline assessments were scrapped. As supporters of the Better without Baseline campaign, we saw this as an achievement that benefited children and practitioners alike.
May was a month of celebrations as PACEY won 'Main Member Website' at MemCom Awards. The judges called the website ‘exceptional’. PACEY was also commended in three further categories.
June was a very busy month! We congratulated the PACEY members cited in the Queen's Birthday Honours, and several members attended Royal Garden Parties at the Palace.
We spoke publicly in response to inaccuracies in the popular BBC One drama 'In The Club', securing a commitment from the producers to contact us for advice before including a childcare storyline in the future. With the country reeling from the result of the Brexit vote, Liz Bayram blogged about the impact leaving the EU is likely to have on the early years sector: Brexit and the impact on Early Years.
In a bid to support members to run successful businesses, we launched our partnership with Kinderly, the online app to record children's learning journeys.
PACEY Cymru and Educ8 held a successful joint event to celebrate the success of members in South Wales.
July was a month of political change and we achieved widespread coverage for our response to Conservative leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom's comments on men working in childcare. Our members were invited to a Childminder Roundtable at the Department for Education to meet with the workforce development strategy team, and we launched our college survey results to raise awareness of recruitment crisis and impact of GCSE requirements.
Normally a quieter month, August saw us welcome confirmation of the new Childcare Minister, Caroline Dinenage, and begin our response to the Early Years Funding Formula consultation. We also launched the results of our survey highlighting the issue of Body Confidence in the early years. Press all over the world picked up on the story, and we got press coverage in the UK valued at over £320k.
In September we announced our partnership with The Children's Sleep Charity
and produced a downloadable sleep resource, free to members. It helps practitioners explain to parents how important a daily nap is for small children. At the end of the month, we celebrated the Nursery World Award winners
- all those shortlisted for Childminder of the Year were PACEY members.The Welsh Government announced 30 hours a week of free early education and childcare
, following the English model. PACEY and PACEY Cymru will be working together to support this change.
In October we met with the new Minister for Women, Equality and Early Years, Caroline Dinenage, (pictured, right) to speak about the future of the childcare profession. Thanks to the regular dialogue we share with members, we're able to present your concerns and ideas to those making the policies.
Our campaigning work to change the GCSE requirements to work in childcare stepped up a gear with the announcement of the Government's consultation. Liz Bayram spoke at Nursery World Business Summit
alongside other sector leaders, to argue for the importance of investment in workforce in Early Years. We also launched our new line of furniture and storage solutions for your setting.
Rounding off the year nicely it was great to see some of our recommendations come through in the Government’s response to the early years funding consultation. We set out the reasons why the 30 hours policy could be the start of a childminding revival. Let’s see what 2017 holds!
We’ve loved seeing all the creative Christmassy crafts that members have been up to in their settings - all connected and linked to early learning outcomes for children.
What have been the highlights of your childcare year? Join the conversation in our forums or on our social media pages.
Wishing all our members and partners season's greetings and a very Happy New Year.