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News - 11 February 2013

The Pre-School Learning Alliance speaks out on proposed reforms

Government plans to allow nursery staff and childminders to look after more children have drawn "a huge and angry response" from parents, says the Pre-School Learning Alliance who have a petition against the changes to childcare ratios in England signed by more than 11,000 parents.

The government announced the changes last month in which ratios can be raised only if carers' qualifications meet new standards. They are due to come into force in the autumn. However, Neil Leitch, of the alliance, said ministers should listen to parents.

Children's Minister Liz Truss said the proposals would make more childcare places available and reduce costs for parents "in the long term".

An earlier report from Ms Truss suggested that the average family spent more than a quarter of their earnings on childcare - Britain has some of the most expensive childcare in the world, with some mothers saying it does not make financial sense to work.

Lavinia Newman of ABDS comments:
“Statutory ratios for carers per child vary depending on age and setting. Under the new arrangements ratios for two-year-olds will rise from four children per adult to six children per adult, and for ones-and-under from three children per adult to four children per adult. Ratios for three-year-olds and over will remain at eight or 13 children per adult, depending on whether a qualified graduate is present.”

The Pre-school Learning Alliance is one of a number of organisations to have criticised the plans. It says its petition was distributed to parents on Monday, with 11,000 signing within 48 hours. The petition calls on the government to reconsider its decision on child ratios and undertake "a proper consultation with early years practitioners and parents".

They added that the government would be ill advised to ignore the voice of parents.

If you need any help and advice on Nursery Schools contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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