Coalition bid to cut childcare bill

First published in News © by

NURSERIES and childminders will be allowed to look after more children as part of coalition efforts to cut childcare costs.

Staff are to be able to take charge of six two-year-olds rather than four while the ratio for under-ones will go up from three to four.

Education minister Liz Truss is to outline the changes, which have been criticised as lowering standards, as part of reforms that will see higher qualifications required of those caring for pre-schoolers.

However, ministers have still not finalised a much heralded wider shake-up of childcare funding and tax breaks.

Britain has some of the highest childcare costs in the world, meaning many mothers with two or more children find it does not make financial sense to work.

Ms Truss will tell an event at the Policy Exchange think-tank that the Government wants to introduce graduate-level Early Years teachers.

An Early Years Educator qualification will also be created, requiring practical experience and at least a C grade in English and maths GCSE.

But she is to insist that better wages are needed to improve the system in England, pointing out that nursery staff only earn £6.60 per hour on average.

Hailing the example of France, Ms Truss will say that easing rules on ratios can give nurseries the "headroom to pay higher salaries". "We have learned from other countries that deliver better-value and better-quality childcare," she will say.

Ofsted's director of early childhood, Sue Gregory, said: "Ofsted welcomes the Government's proposals to drive up further the quality of early education and childcare.

“We particularly welcome plans to introduce more rigorous training and qualifications for those working with young children.

“Sir Michael Wilshaw will be making an announcement in the spring about how Ofsted plans to drive up standards in the early years sector through its inspection and improvement activity, particularly in the most deprived areas."

What do you think of the childcare changes? Have your say below.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:44am Tue 29 Jan 13

Polly Staight says...

"Britain has some of the highest childcare costs in the world..."

Presumably in more sensible countries they don't send mothers out to call centres, when they could be looking after their kids at home.

I certainly remember that when I lived in the Netherlands that mothers with children were hit with a quite severe tax (not that I approve of taxes, even if they are derogated).

It had the desired effect though, and mothers spent those few short years at home... Whilst working women, had no such problem, they were in the market-place just like the men.
"Britain has some of the highest childcare costs in the world..." Presumably in more sensible countries they don't send mothers out to call centres, when they could be looking after their kids at home. I certainly remember that when I lived in the Netherlands that mothers with children were hit with a quite severe tax (not that I approve of taxes, even if they are derogated). It had the desired effect though, and mothers spent those few short years at home... Whilst working women, had no such problem, they were in the market-place just like the men. Polly Staight
  • Score: 0

9:50am Tue 29 Jan 13

j.j. says...

This is excellent news. I think most child carers are able to look after more children than they currently do - certainly they do at the nurseries that our children have attended - and they deserve to be better paid for their work. But part of the savings from the more sensible carer-to-child ratio should be passed on to the parents.
This is excellent news. I think most child carers are able to look after more children than they currently do - certainly they do at the nurseries that our children have attended - and they deserve to be better paid for their work. But part of the savings from the more sensible carer-to-child ratio should be passed on to the parents. j.j.
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Tue 29 Jan 13

nearly right all the time says...

Perhaps some of our Muli-National
companies and Banks, should set up
in house creches

Or Fund child care as they do private health benefits for their hard pressed staff
Perhaps some of our Muli-National companies and Banks, should set up in house creches Or Fund child care as they do private health benefits for their hard pressed staff nearly right all the time
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree