View Full Version : PLA press release on agencies ...please read (3 july)

03-07-2013, 11:50 AM
This is PLA press release on agencies...note that Baroness Hughes of Stretford is quoted ...she is the one PLA CEO said could be approached on agencies

3rd July 2013

''Additional childcare costs resulting from the introduction of childminder agencies is to be passed onto parents, Under 5 has learned.

Speaking during second reading of the Children and Families Bill in the House of Lords yesterday, Labour’s Baroness Hughes of Stretford said: “The Childcare Minister said in a meeting last week that the agencies would be responsible for the training and development of their childminders but that there would be no new money.

She added: “She envisaged that the cost would be passed to parents.”

Speaking on the topic of childminder agencies last month, early years minister Elizabeth Truss stated: “Agencies will drive up quality — they will be required to support the training and development of childminders — and make it easier for parents to access childminders and be assured of high‑quality and flexible provision.”

The Government has previously cited lowering the cost of childcare as one of its key policy aims.

During the debate, a number of concerns were also raised over proposals for Ofsted inspections to be limited a selection of childminders within each agency, rather than each individual childminder.

“There is a danger that childminders with less satisfactory standards will be afforded a higher status by virtue of their membership of a highly rated agency,” said Lord Storey of the Liberal Democrat party. “When a parent chooses a registered childminder, they should be confident that the grade of the childminder reflects their talents.”

“I cannot see the rationale for some childminders not to be subject to Ofsted when we cannot guarantee their quality,” added Labour‘s Baroness Morris Labour.

It was also suggested during the debate that, in fact, only the agency itself would subject to inspection under the proposals. “Childminders in agencies will no longer be inspected directly at all by Ofsted,” said Baroness Hughes. “Instead, the agency will be inspected on its quality assurance processes.”

A statement made by Conservative Lord Nash later in the debate appeared to support this understanding of the plans. “We expect that Ofsted inspections will focus on ensuring that agencies are adept at assessing the quality of childminding and putting in place arrangements to drive up quality, ensuring that agencies provide proper support, training and guidance to their childminders and that parents can have confidence in their quality,” he stated.

Last month, early years minister Liz Truss revealed that agency trials will begin this summer, and that a consultation on “key requirements to be placed on childminder agencies in regulations” will take place following the completion of the trials.'' (end)

The Lords did debate agencies yesterday but I have not the link at present...will post when I can find it.
I also have not found any comment from pacey

03-07-2013, 11:59 AM
I've just noticed it on their website in the under 5's area and was about to post the link but you beat me too it lol

03-07-2013, 12:11 PM
Fabulous info sharing then...all on alert for anything useful to share
PLA are tweeting an awful lot at present...the CEO has obviously been very busy at meetings and conferences
I can only say I am relieved someone is putting this out in the press and in the open for all to see

03-07-2013, 12:24 PM
Is Lord Storey the one UKCMA met with? It sounds as if they may have convinced him that agencies are a bad idea!

03-07-2013, 01:10 PM
The very same but he did a bit of homework and got it right that cms are already inspected but could lose their higher grade if the agency got a lower one...