At the Front

The government’s policy document More Great Childcare has many excellent ideas, particularly on improving staff qualifications and salary levels.  But I fear any potential savings changes in adult-to-child ratios will be swallowed up in the higher rates of pay better-qualified staff will require and...

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Obese pre-schoolers?

25 February 2013

Obesity rates are reaching 9.5% in reception classes, according to a report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.  As the owner of a day nursery where we prepare and serve wholesome meals for our children, in 15 years we have never had a single obese child. Out of the hundreds of...

Sajid Javid, Minister in HM Treasury, confirmed in a written reply to a York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, dated 13 November 2012, that the government had no intention of paying childcare providers directly the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit, saying: “This support is intended to facilitate parental...

I was heavily involved in the consultations on the creation of my local authority’s Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF). While disagreeing with the amount the LA allocated to the early years budget out of its Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) to fund the formula – a formula that was set in 2008/9...

Over the summer months the government’s Childcare Commission has been busy working away collecting evidence and opinions on what can be deregulated, but my concern is by how much and at what cost to quality? During these months a number of think tanks, including Centre for Social Justice and the...

I’m very pleased to hear the call from Cathy Nutbrown for improved minimum qualifications for early years staff. Quality nurseries, such as my own, are already upgrading their staff to a minimum Level 3 relevant qualification in childcare and development as well as training staff to degree level and...

I see members of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have been getting hot under the collar over how the DfE is spending £1.9bn of government money on early years with “limited understanding” of where it is being spent and how it is not being “not properly monitored”.   The other issue cover...

It's with real sadness that I see the teaching profession resorting to personal attacks on Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted. He has only been in post a few months and already one of the main teachers' unions, the National Association of Head Teachers, has set its stall against him because of some...

Within the current Ofsted consultation they are making a proposal that providers of early years education and care could pay for another inspection if they wished. There could be a number of reasons why an early years setting would want an inspection in a shorter timescale than the normal Ofsted cycle...

The launch of a new website called ‘The Good Care Guide’ fills me as an owner of a single stand along nursery in the heart of a small local community, with trepidation.  I have used websites such as Trip Adviser and Holiday Watchdog in the past when it comes to researching my next holiday or when I’m...