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PACEY Policy – February 2019

Welcome to PACEY’s regular policy update, which provides a summary of the latest policy developments in England and Wales concerning childcare and early years, and how we are representing your views to key decision makers.

England

Childcare minister visits a childminding setting

Last month, the children and families minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP, visited a childminding setting in Bromley run by PACEY member and trustee, Vicky Walsh. The purpose of the visit was to enable the minister to experience first-hand the unique features of a childminding setting. We also raised with the minister some of the key issues facing childminders in England, including low funding for 30 hours, red tape associated with delivering the childcare entitlements, and the ban on childminders providing funded places to related children. The minister told us that he found the experience “inspirational”, and has committed to reviewing the government’s childminding policy. We will continue to push for the changes needed to make childminding sustainable.

Guide to the inspection consultation

Last month Ofsted published a consultation on proposals for the new education inspection framework (EIF), which will replace the common inspection framework (CIF) from September. PACEY has published a guide outlining the key changes proposed. The consultation will be open until 5th April, and PACEY is urging all members to respond. Also please don’t forget to email the policy team with your feedback on the proposals – we’re keen to hear your views!

MPs call for new approach to tacking disadvantage in the early years

Last summer, PACEY submitted written and oral evidence to the Education Committee’s inquiry on life chances. This month, the Committee finally published its report, which quoted our evidence at length. The cross-party group of MPs is calling for a number of changes, including for a meaningful workforce strategy and reform of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

Wales

PACEY Cymru have had a busy month as the end of financial year approaches and there are a number of Welsh Government consultations to respond to.

National Minimum Standards

Thank you to all of you who completed the survey on views on the NMS. The survey is now closed and we are forwarding the findings of this to Welsh Government. Your views will help to improve the support we provide to the sector and inform future policy decisions. An update on the findings of the survey will be shared in a future e-newsletter to members in Wales.

Call for Evidence on the Exceptions Order

PACEY Cymru are submitting a response to the Welsh Government on the current Child Minding and Day Care Exceptions (Wales) Order (2010) where a person providing care would not be required to register. We will be responded firmly in relation to the related children position in legislation. We have made good progress with this issue in Wales within Childcare Offer guidance but the supporting legislation needs to be changed to reflect this. We are also particularly interested in hearing from:

  • members providing atypical childcare after 6pm
  • members who have views on childminding taking place for under two hours which is at present exempt from registration

If you have any comments to share on this please let us know. Please contact Claire Protheroe.

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