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
Inquiry into Childminding in the 21st Century survey
We wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and gave their views. We are currently studying the findings and considering what it means for the future of the work that we do. Do keep an eye out on our website and social media for updates.
Ministerial Portfolios confirmed
Michelle Donelan has been confirmed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, whilst Kemi Badenoch is on maternity leave. She takes on responsibility for children’s social care, special educational needs and disabilities – including high needs funding – disadvantage and social mobility and support for the home learning environment.
Minister of State for School Standards Nick Gibb will take on policy for early education and childcare including funding, support for the early years workforce, curriculum, quality and the early education entitlements and we are meeting with him next month.
Chancellor announces extra £66 million for early years
Sajid Javid announced in the spending round that Spending Round an extra £66 million will be given to early years in 2020-21 to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers through the government’s free hours’ offers. Government also announced that £700m additional funding will be allocated in 2020-21 for high needs, which covers children and young people aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs and disabilities. The additional high needs funding will bring the total high needs budget to over £7 billion.
Government has launched a major review into SEND
The review is in response to a call of evidence in May. The government recognises that the current system is failing to meet pupils needs with 4/5 councils overspending on their send budgets. Furthermore, they aim to end the “postcode” lottery by developing more equal provision over the country.
EYFS Coalition research launch
PACEY is part of the coalition of early years sector organisations who launched a survey in May 2019 to better understand the sector’s opinion of and attitude towards the EYFS ahead of a government consultation this year. The event brought together 180 professionals across the sector to launch the literature review and discuss initial headlines from the practitioner’s survey. Read our blog here and you can download the report here.
Reminder: Ofsted fees consultation closes 9th October
Ofsted are seeking views on proposed changes to early years fees paid to Ofsted. The consultation is open to all childcare providers registered on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and anyone interested in early education and childcare including local authorities, sector representatives and professional bodies.
Commercial waste issues
We have been made aware of arising issues in some areas of Wales in relation to commercial waste requirements and charges being applied. Claire Protheroe, National Manager for Wales for PACEY Cymru has written to the Minister to once again highlight the issues faced by childminders on this and the impact on sustainability if charges are applied. We are calling for clearer, national guidance in relation to this to be agreed to alleviate issues in the future. If you have or are experiencing issues can you please share these by email to email@example.com to ensure we are aware of any issues faced by the sector and to provide support.
Following the successful implementation of online services for adult and children’s services providers, CIW have began work to bring the full benefits of CIW Online to childcare and play providers.
In partnership with PACEY Cymru as part of the Cwlwm consortium CIW are developing their plans, including an online application form to be tested with providers. They will also discuss and review the proposed application forms for child minders and day care services. CIW are confident the system will be beneficial to the sector.
New units required for registration in Wales
From the 1st September there are new training unit requirements for registration as a childminder in Wales or for those nannies looking to join CIW’s Childcare at Home Voluntary Approval Scheme. CYPOP5 will no longer be available for new learners with two training packages taking the place of this. The nanny approval training package comprises of Unit 326 Introduction to home-based childcare (IHC). The childminder pre-registration training package comprises of Unit 326 Introduction to home-based childcare (IHC), and Unit 327 Preparing for childminder practice (PCP).
These units were developed in partnership with Social Care Wales to meet the needs of the sector and enable higher quality training pathways for home-based childcare. For those currently registered who hold CYPOP5 there are no requirements to undertake these new units in addition.
Self Assessment of Service (SASS)
Following previous requirements around the SASS in early 2020 CIW will be asking 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.
PACEY Cymru will provide further information and an update on this in coming weeks.
Business Wales grants
The Welsh Government is launching a Childcare Grant to facilitate the creation of additional flexible childcare places throughout Wales. There are two separate Grants under the scheme being made available to help increase childcare places on of which, a Childcare Start up Grant, is to encourage new childminders into the sector. The grant will offer some financial assistance to help with some of the costs associated with starting a childminding business. The other is a New Employees Grant to encourage the creation of new jobs across the childcare sector. The grant will offer finances to support salaries and overheads whilst additional childcare spaces are filled. This is likely to be of interest to childminders looking to employ a childminding assistant to support the growth of their service or for the wider childcare sector. PACEY Cymru welcomes these grants and will be working closely with Business Wales to encourage take up and support for providers to apply.