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BLOG: PACEY Policy - November 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 and Wales

PACEY’s General Election Pledge

PACEY has released three key recommendations for all political parties which we are pushing ahead of the election on 12 December.

  1. All commitments to government funded childcare and early education must be fully costed and sustainably funded.
  2. The skilled practitioners who work with pre-school children must be better recognised and rewarded.
  3. Families and carers as well as the professionals who advise and support them should receive more information and guidance on childcare and early years.

We are also tracking all political parties early years commitments.

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) analysis of political parties’ proposed early years packages

The IFS have released their analysis of the early years packages from the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats. Key findings include that both parties are proposing unprecedented increases in spending on free childcare which the institute states will be immensely difficult in such a short space of time. Both parties will increase minimum funding rates and per hour funding rates too.

 

England

Number of registered childminders drops by a fifth since 2015

Ofsted figures show that the number of registered childminders has fallen by a fifth since 2015. As of 31 August 2019 there were 38,500 childminders registered with Ofsted, this is a decrease of 500 (1%) since 31 March 2019 and 9,500 (20%) since 31 August 2015. PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram comments; “Every year we read from Ofsted that less and less people are choosing to become childminders…this simply cannot continue…”

Early Years Foundation Stage reforms consultation

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a public consultation seeking views on changes to the statutory framework for the EYFS. The consultation includes proposed changes to the educational programmes, the early learning goals and the EYFS profile assessment. The early years sector coalition has published a united view which you can read. We are encouraging all members and other practitioners to respond to this important consultation which closes 31 January 2020.

DfE publishes new stats on childcare and early years providers in England

Some key highlights of these new statistics show that there are less staff and providers listed than last year and that the number of places has increased. There have also been increases in the number of childminders, group providers and school based nurseries offering the 30 hour entitlement and tax-free childcare.

Update on additional details around school and LA funding confirmed by DfE

The Government has confirmed additional details that the two-year-old entitlement for all local authorities and the vast majority of areas for the three- and four-year-old entitlement in England will increase by 8p an hour. They have also increased the funding floor, meaning that no authority will receive less than £4.38 an hour for the three- and four-year-old entitlement.

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