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
Childminding Inquiry Update
Thank you so much if you were one of the thousands of people who responded to the survey, spoke to our researchers, or took part in focus groups. Analysis is still underway but initial results show that while many of the age-old problems continue to contribute to the decline in the number of childminders, there are new and emerging issues to be tackled too, especially for new childminders.
Universal Credit updates
Two changes have been announced to universal credit that will impact childcare payments and the amount that can be deducted from payments. These updates have been in effect since this October, so make sure you are aware of how this could impact you or parents in of children in your setting. See the full details here.
Early Years Foundation Stage reforms consultation
The Department for Education 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. We are encouraging all members and other practitioners to respond to this important consultation and read PACEY’s own response to the consultation which will be published soon.
Respond to the consultation here and read more about the consultation and PACEY’s view here.
EYFS profile results 2019 shows limited progress
The Department for Education’s EYFS profile results show limited progress in children’s attainment by the time they reach reception. While it is good to see that most children are reaching their full potential, most is not good enough. Children living with disadvantage, be that poverty, SEND or other issues continue to be left behind and PACEY is pushing for government to do more.
Read the full results here.
Additional details around school and LA funding confirmed by DfE
The £14 million funding that the Prime Minister had previously promised is set to be available from April 2020. Additional details surrounding how this will impact early years have been confirmed. This includes an increase in funding levels for 2-year-old entitlement across all LAs and an increase in 3- and 4-year-old entitlement for almost all.
APPG for Families in the Early Years - Removing barriers to work for parents of young children
This meeting, Coram shed some light on their research into what influences women returning to work after maternity leave. Key findings included that new mums in the most expensive childcare locations are significantly less likely to return to work as well as many parents are extremely reliant on ‘informal childcare’ such as the use of grandparents and family members. Working Families discussed their benchmark report which noted policy interventions that best help women return to work. This is predominately Employer’s use of flexible working hours. Gingerbread discussed the barriers to work for single parents and Dr. Elizabeth Reed from Southampton University talked about the importance influence that working mums have on their daughters.
Commercial waste issues
Following the update in the previous policy blog we have received a response to the issues raised in relation to commercial waste requirements and charges being applied in Wales in a letter from Hannah Blythyn the Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government. This response stated that they understood the issues faced by childminders on this and will consider options for clarifying the position under legislation. We will continue to lobby on this issue and provide updates on developments. If you have or are experiencing issues can you please share these by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure we are aware of any issues faced by the sector and to provide support.
In early January CIW will be requiring childcare and play providers to use their online accounts to submit a Self-Assessment of Service Statement (SASS). This will enable CIW to gather and update information they hold on childcare and play services. In addition, providers will be asked to submit a quality of care review, describing their own assessment of the quality of care provided and explaining how they monitor their own performance.
In November 2019 you will receive a letter from CIW with important information about CIW Online. This letter requires you to take action to activate an online account. If you have any queries during the process please contact the Wales office for support. It is a regulatory requirement that this is completed within the set timescales and further information will follow on our website in coming weeks.