‘Deregulating childminders will not solve the UK’s childcare crisis’ – Daycare Trust responds to Elizabeth Truss MP’s report
21 May 2012
Following today’s Centre Forum report by Elizabeth Truss MP with proposal for reforming the childcare system, national childcare charity Daycare Trust has issued the following statement .
Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of Daycare Trust said:
“Childcare costs in the UK are very high and rising at an unrelenting pace, with part-time childcare now costing on average over £100 a week. Daycare Trust welcomes any contribution that looks at causes of and solutions to this, but we do not believe that Elizabeth Truss MP’s proposals will solve the childcare crisis in this country.
THE DUTCH MODEL
“We do not believe that the model implemented in the Netherlands since 2005 has worked, and indeed many of the changes have been reversed. The Dutch reforms led to lower quality childcare, did not increase the number of high quality childminders in the profession, as the increase in numbers was largely due to grandparents registering as childminders; did not have a noticeable impact on maternal employment; and saw bureaucracy increase, due to the introduction of a layer of agencies.”
“Daycare Trust welcomes the principle of more support for childminders and within this, networks are very valuable. However, direct regulation and accountability remain essential if childminders are to be respected as providing a professional service. We worry that removing them from the Ofsted inspection regime would mean parents lose confidence and risks childminders becoming perceived as a second-class service compared with nurseries.”
“Proposals to alter the ratio of staff to children open up a debate on the trade off between quality and quantity, and it should be made clear that it is unlikely that a change like this would act as a money saver to parents, as any extra income from higher numbers of children will be offset by the higher salaries paid to the childcarer.”
“We do not believe that there is demand in the childcare sector for the changes being proposed today, as the recent Early Years Foundation Stage consultation illustrated. The consultation received 3000 responses, but the issue of relaxing childminder entry rules was simply not something that featured highly.
“In looking at wider reform of the childcare system, Daycare Trust favours a move to more supply side funding, which would reduce the complexity that both parents and providers face. We believe it is vital that parents and crucially childminders themselves are listened to in taking forward any proposals.
“In order to really tackle the childcare crisis, the government must start by reversing the cut to the childcare element of Working Tax Credit last year which has left many low income families £500 a year worse off.”