View Full Version : Childminding Forum responds to the 'More Great Childcare' Plan

12-02-2013, 02:28 PM
The following press release is being sent out over the next few days :cheerleader:


A petition against Government plans to change the ratios of the number of adults to children in early years settings such as nurseries and registered childminders has received more than 21,000 signatures in less than 3 weeks.

The petition (www.keepratiosdown.co.uk), started by the Childminding Forum (Childminding Forum - The UK's largest online forum for Registered Childminders (http://www.childmindingforum.co.uk)), the UK's largest free online community for registered childminders, was written after forum members voiced their concerns about the potential effects of increased ratios and has since gained the support of other childcare professionals and parents.

Sarah Neville, an Ofsted Outstanding rated registered childminder for 19 years, says the 'More Great Childcare' proposals announced recently by Elizabeth Truss, Minister for Education and Childcare, are "likely to put the well being, health, safety and education of our youngest and most vulnerable children under threat".

Sarah, who claims that the proposals create more questions than answers, has produced a 34 page analysis of the plan - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/mgc - and is asking the Government to urgently reconsider its plans on ratios and other changes such as the introduction of childminder agencies. Members of the Childminding Forum say they want to remain independent and do not want agencies in their local areas.

Sarah added: "We have listened to childminder concerns and our analysis of the 'More Great Childcare' plan challenges the Government to answer urgent questions which childminders throughout the country are asking".

For more information, please read ‘‘More Great Childcare’ - an analysis of the Government’s plans written by Childminders’ - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/mgc.

And please respond to the Government’s plans by -

• Signing the petition against changes to ratios - www.keepratiosdown.co.uk.

• Writing to your MP to discuss your concerns - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/campaigns-petitions/114418-letter-writing-more-ideas.html.

• Handing out leaflets to inform and advise others - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/campaigns-petitions/114136-leaflet-parents-other-settings-childminders-etc.html.

On a personal note - I would like to thank to every forum member who has commented about the 'More Great Childcare' plan - on the forum threads, by pm, by email and personally.

You have all made valuable contributions to the writing of this document.

I would also like to thank my proof readers - who all deserve a gold star! :clapping:

Please share this press release and document - it has been written for childminders and other early years professionals everywhere!

We need to make our voices heard :cheerleader::cheerleader:

12-02-2013, 02:38 PM

Its amazing Sarah :D

You really do need more hours in the day. I dont know how you manage to have produced such a comprehensive document, childmind, e books, moderator and be a mum and partner.

But on behalf of us all


hectors house
12-02-2013, 02:55 PM
Wow Sarah - I saw this as soon as you posted it and it has taken me half an hour to read your fantastic work - Well done and thank you, I don't know how you found time to compile all our comments and concerns into such a concise, heart felt document. Have sent the link round to other childminders I have e-mail addresses for and asked them to forward it on again. I did suggest to people to that they don't attempt to read the 34 pages on their i-phones though as my head is spinning after reading on a very large computer screen!

You deserve a whole bottle of wine tonight and a very early night :D

12-02-2013, 03:02 PM
and another big thank you from me


12-02-2013, 04:36 PM
Thank you Sarah, I've sent this off to other childminders

12-02-2013, 05:55 PM
Lordy me Sarah! An incredibly comprehensive document - thanks :D

I honestly don't know where you get the time!!

12-02-2013, 05:57 PM
It looks excellent Sarah. May I ask are you going to mention the other Petition they way they have included yours on their publicity?

I think it is so important to act as a united front and I find it so sad that all you intelligent and knowledgeable people can't act as one body for the greater good of all. After all we are all childminders together.

I must say also I have not signed the Petitions because I have no concern about the proposed ratio changes for childminders. I do for Nurseries but the parents who are so keen to use them need to speak out loud and strong. I have often had 2 under ones and 4 under 3's and have never had a problem getting out and about etc etc. It will afford me a flexibility that I do not easily fee I have now.

I think the bigger issue is the proposed implementation of Agencies. I think this is the issue we need to be challenging because I don't think the Government have a clue about them. They say for example the parents will pay the Agency and then the Agency will pay us. That's fine they can employ us, but then how will we get all our resources? Our food for the children? Pay for petrol or travel? Acquire and pay for cleaning products, wipes, soap powder etc., cover our gas and electric costs, will there be a scale according to the size of your home? Will we be given an allowance or Expense Account? As we will be paid employees and no longer Self Employed will we have our Tax and NI paid? Will we have a pension, paid holidays, paid sick, paid maternity leave? So many unknowns.

12-02-2013, 06:26 PM
It looks excellent Sarah. May I ask are you going to mention the other Petition they way they have included yours on their publicity?

I think it is so important to act as a united front and I find it so sad that all you intelligent and knowledgeable people can't act as one body for the greater good of all. After all we are all childminders together.

I am not sure why you are challenging me on this Ricky.

You have chosen to say it on a thread which was meant to be a celebration of what a group of passionate people can do when they work together towards a common goal. :( It makes me sad that you have done this here.

So okay I will answer you - but let's not lose sight of the most important objective here - which is to fight the Govt plans.

I am not going to mention the 'other' petition in a document written for Childminding Forum members, written by Childminding Forum members and sponsored by Childminding Forum.

With respect, I would have thought that would be obvious. Now can this please stop.

There are many campaigns and questionnaires and petitions against the Govt plans - there are many magazine and newspaper articles - there are many famous people speaking out about the risk to outcomes for children if these plans go ahead...

They are all working towards common goals -

- to stop agencies

- to stop ratios changes which will put children in danger and leave many childminders unsustainable

- to stop the Govt further demoralising the early years workforce by telling us how much we can earn and how we have to work harder to earn it

- to stop the Govt putting our 2 year olds at risk - moving them into education rather than play

- to try and make the Govt see that they will not bring down childcare fees by following this plan

- to stop Govt creating a 2 tier system whereby non agency childminders do not get any local support - support which is already being withdrawn in some areas in anticipation of the plan!!

- to stop Govt thinking that childminders are 'lagging behind' other providers by giving them the facts... and much, much more.

All the campaigns and petitions and articles and leaflets and letters are reaching different people - the more people we can reach the more likely it is that we will make a difference.

Let's focus on the objectives here please. Let's agree to differ and use whatever petition, article, document etc we choose to make our feelings heard :cheerleader:

12-02-2013, 06:39 PM
Sarah and everybody else involved behind the scenes the time and effort you put into this cause is fantastic and I for one am so thankful to you :clapping:

I will share this with local childminders in the morning, and I hope it gets some good publicity over the next few days.

12-02-2013, 06:46 PM
Sarah you are doing a really great job, a heart felt thanks from me


12-02-2013, 06:50 PM
It looks excellent Sarah. May I ask are you going to mention the other Petition they way they have included yours on their publicity?

I think it is so important to act as a united front and I find it so sad that all you intelligent and knowledgeable people can't act as one body for the greater good of all. After all we are all childminders together.


Rickysmiths I really feel I need to say something to the comments you have made in regards to these petitions. As an intelligent woman yourself you very clearly understand why the 2 petitions are not together, and I feel that you are goading Sarah, unfairly, to say something negative. It is what is. Lots of people on all different forums are working extremely hard to save the future of childminding and they should all be praised for their dedication. I think we can agree that most childminders are feeling uneasy with the more great childcare policy, does it matter where the voices come from as long as the government hear them. :thumbsup:

hectors house
12-02-2013, 07:11 PM
Can we all just be friends again - I hate that this :censored: Truss woman and her :censored: plan has caused rift amongst us?

13-02-2013, 07:44 AM
I would like to say I respect Sarahs reply. Of course I know all the hard work that Sarah and many many others have and are putting in and I wouldn't want to diminish any of that at all we are lucky to have people who do this on our behalf.

However I feel all this hard work and effort everyone is making might be even more effective if it all came together in one place to show the amazing campaign that is going on on behalf of Childminding which is and can be so split and difficult to bring together because we all work alone.

It seems that this forum does not want to do this so I will respect that now I have had a response and I won't mention it again.

13-02-2013, 08:55 PM
love love love the document

So proud of the work that Sarah has put in and a big thank you to the forum and Richard for sorting it out

13-02-2013, 11:24 PM
Well done Sarah - Thank you!

Are you aware of the Independent Childminders Support Group being set up via Twitter?

14-02-2013, 12:06 AM
Sorry, meant Independent Childminders Focus Group

14-02-2013, 07:33 AM
The forum is offering all the support I need!

We have -

- Letter writing tips - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/campaigns-petitions/114418-letter-writing-more-ideas.html


- A leaflet to hand out and give to parents - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/campaigns-petitions/114136-leaflet-parents-other-settings-childminders-etc.html#post1206691

- A dedicated 'campaigns and petitions' area - Campaigns and Petitions (http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/campaigns-petitions/)

- Our own petition which I have just noticed has over 22,000 supporters this morning - http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-government-department-for-education-leave-our-early-years-ratios-alone

- Threads galore to help people be better informed about the Truss plans

- Hugely dedicated childminder members who want to stay independent and who are prepared to fight for this

- Our response document - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/mgc - which is already starting to make waves in Govt and in the press!

- Huge amounts of support from the forum owners Intl New Media - financial support and back-up with lobbying Govt, speaking to news agencies on our behalf, providing links to people who are decision makers...

And much, much more!

Why would I want to go elsewhere? :huh:


14-02-2013, 07:47 AM
Yes Sarah - sterling work! :-)
Very grateful and have used all of these valuable resources.

My point is that there are other groups developing and I think it might be good to try to join them up. I have told the Twitter bunch about this one.

I imagine there will be a Facebook page at some point too. And probably some locally based meetings (in person not online).

Personally I will join ALL of them, can't see any point in not doing so - as it just adds more weight to the cause.

I fed this information through so people can join the Twitter group AS WELL as this one if they want to.