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Nursery Workers in North Yorkshire Will be Allowed to Look After More Youngsters


6:52am 29th January 2013

Parents will have more choice of high quality childcare the Government outlined today in its new report ‘More Great Childcare.’


They say the current system doesn’t work and that we have a poorly paid and poorly qualified Early Years workforce with many not having a grade C in GCSE English and Maths.


That’s why, say the Government, today’s childcare reforms will ensure that they overhaul childcare qualifications, and provide more choice of quality education and care for parents.


The Government says that European countries, such as France and Denmark, recognise that looking after children is an extremely important job – and that attitude is reflected in higher levels of skills and pay. In contrast Professor Cathy Nutbrown said in her review of childcare qualifications, about England:

 "…too many people who work with young children are under-qualified and the system for qualifications is confusing and inadequate.’


"This cannot continue if we are expected to compete in a global market and we want to provide children with a complete and fulfilled education.

The Government say:


  • The first step in doing this is to make sure qualifications for the early years workforce are rigorous and more demanding.    
  • Secondly, we propose to allow nurseries to relax ratios only where they hire highly qualified staff. Nurseries without highly qualified staff will need to stick to existing ratios.  
  • Thirdly, we will set up childminding agencies who will offer a one stop shop service for childminders - taking care of business practicalities, and quality assurance for parents.
  • Fourth, Ofsted will be the only arbiter of quality, reducing the burden on LA’s from doing their own inspections and saving them money so more can go to the frontline.
  • Fifth, by abolishing the requirement on schools to register separately with Ofsted, if they want to provide care and education for children under the age of three – we will make it easier for more schools to offer childcare and early education."


Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss said:

"It is right that the Government does everything it can to ensure the provision delivering early education is of the highest quality, staff are paid better, and childcare is affordable to parents.


"When parents hand their child over to the care of a childminder or nursery they are not just entrusting them with their child’s physical safety; they are also entrusting their child’s brain. With this in mind it is no longer acceptable that childcare professionals are not required to have a GCSE grade C or above in English and Maths.


"Parents want a choice of quality home based care, quality nursery care or a combination of the two. Our proposals for overhauling childcare qualifications, having early years teachers, and child-minding agencies, underpinned by a robust inspection regime, will provide this.”


At the moment, many nursery and private, voluntary and independent settings, say the Government do not use full ratios. They think teacher-led settings with full ratios and structured activities are a good thing. They add that Ofsted will favour this too, and say they want parents to have the choice.


Labour however claims that new rules for childcare in England could compromise quality and safety.

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