2017 has been a busy and eventful year, and here at PACEY we wanted to share some of the things that have happened to us and our members. For a more detailed roundup of how we have impacted policy in 2017, take a look at the latest policy blog.
We kicked off the year with the launch of SearchChildcare, our new childcare directory that is free to use and enables parents to find a wide range of registered childcare in their local area.
As a founding member of the Save Our Early Years campaign, PACEY joined sector colleagues in calling for the GCSE requirements for England and Maths for level 3 to be scrapped through an open letter to Government.
Wales launched a new Welsh Language Decelopment area in MyPACEY with month activities for members to access as well as a Foundation Phase Practice area to support members, where we've pulled together a range of resources and updating each month.
February was a month for love and appreciation as we saw one mum take a moment to thank her childminder for all the amazing things she does and how special she is to their family.
In Wales, PACEY Cymru published a report looking at childminder de-registration in Wales which highlighted a great deal of positivity about childminding as a career.
March began with the welcome announcement from the Government that functional skills will now be accepted as an equivalent to GCSEs for level 3 early years practitioners. This was a great achievement for PACEY and our sector colleagues.
The publication our annual sector wide Building Blocks survey painted a picture of the dedicated and trained early years workforce (96% of which find their career rewarding!), and highlighted a number of challenging issues faced by practitioners.
In Wales, PACEY Cymru gave evidence on the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Bill following PACEY Cymru’s consultation response on the bill.
The revised EYFS in England was published and our HBCA course was updated with new task guidance
From April, parents were able to apply for 30 hours ahead of the September rollout and the Department for Education gave PACEY a grant to begin a major project to support childminder business sustainability in England.
In the world of social media, the PACEY Facebook page hit 17,000 likes!
We saw the launch of #childminderchampions, a campaign aimed at celebrating the achievements and amazing work that childminders do on a daily basis as well as highlighting the issues and support needed.
The online campaign has had over 1.4 million reach, over 45,000 clicks and 2,700 shares which is fantastic. You can still join in the #childcarechampions campaign pushing our myth busters, blogs, videos, spotlight and more.
As campaigning for the unexpected general election gathered speed, PACEY called for all political parties to put childcare at the centre of their manifestos and support our four pledges.
We published our annual childminder fees survey, which revealed that the average registered childminder will experience a shortfall of over £400 per child, per year, for every funded place they offer.
Working alongside the Be Real campaign, we launched ‘Celebrating me’, a guide to body confidence for early years practitioners, after research revealed that children as young as 3 are concerned with their body image.
In Wales, the Welsh Government confirmed the rate for the childcare offer pilot in Wales. PACEY Cymru developed FAQs and support for practitioners for the 30 hours childcare offer in Wales.
After receiving a grant from the Department for Education, in England, PACEY was able to champion childminding in new ways,including the launch of Business Smart, developed by childminders, for childminders. Produced in association with Lloyds Bank, the toolkit has been accessed over 82,000 times, providing childminders with guidance on everything they need to run a successful business.
Our childminder champions campaign formed an exciting new partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting in an effort to raise parental awareness of childminders. Through this, we created new resources and videos for both parents and health visitors.
The PACEY Local Facebook page hit 18,000 likes, storming towards 19,000 for the end of the year.
Through the summer, we created ‘Ask PACEY’
for non-members, a one-to-one support for early years practitioners for a detailed call with a fully-trained PACEY advisor. These sessions give you the chance to talk through aspects of your practice with a qualified PACEY Advisor who can help you explore your concerns and set achievable goals.
September was a particularly busy month, with the long-awaited rollout of 30 hours entitlement across England. PACEY has sought to shape implementation of 30 hours in a way that benefits our members, and we have frequently spoken out about the challenges. We have sought to help our members navigate the changes through our 30 hours in 30 seconds videos and our 30 hours spotlight page.
This month we also secured confirmation from PPL and PRS for Music that most childminders are exempt from purchasing annual music licenses.
We also sought clarity from DfE about acceptable variations of childminding ratios in light of 30 hours. In Wales, major changed to qualifications for people looking to work in health, social care and childcare in Wales were announced. PACEY Cymru continues to be involved in the ongoing work to draft content for new qualifications alongside other key partners.
In addition, PACEY launched its new EYFS free training course for members in England.
This month, we launched our social media campaign #letsmakeithappen, designed to promote the policy work that PACEY is doing every day. We’re committed to telling you more about what we are working towards and giving you more opportunity to have your say and make an impact on policies.
Our campaign began with two visits to parliament. A long-awaited meeting with Robert Goodwill MP allowed us to raise key issues on behalf of our members and the sector. Chief Executive Liz Bayram also joined a high profile lobby event in Parliament on the effects of 30 hours childcare organised by shadow early years minister Tracy Brabin MP.
We also celebrated the win of Nursery Worlds Childminder of the Year 2017 and PACEY member, Jane Fisher. With 27 years of experience, Jane spoke to PACEY about her achievements and plans for the future.
Public Health England published example menus and useful guidance for early years settings which PACEY members helped design.
PACEY teamed up with Voice the Union, to launch a survey aimed at Early Years Teachers. We are trying to understand why EYT numbers are declining, and fewer students choosing the early years sector for their teaching career.
We also added a number of new creative play products to the PACEY shop after a number of requests from members and celebrated PACEY’s 40th birthday with a look back on how it all began.
The DfE published a consultation on the criteria for the level 2 early years assistant qualification, which was drafted in collaboration with PACEY and other sector colleagues in England.
The festive spirit has consumed us this month as we launched PACEY’s Christmas card competition and the ultimate Festive Friday Fun Day prizes meaning we have been able to see all the creative Christmas crafts that members have been up to in their settings.
The winning cards were sent in by Julie White from Little Bongos Childcare (bottom right), childminder Hilary Terry (top left), childminder Christine Emery (top right) and Macy (age 5) from Chelle's Childminding (bottom left).
What have been the highlights of your childcare year? Join the conversation in our forums or on our social media pages. Don't forget, the PACEY office and phone lines will be closed from 5pm 22 December and will re-open on 2 January 2018 due to the Christmas closure.
Wishing all our members and partners a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.