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Childcare & Education

Will quality childcare and sufficient funding be forefront of mind?

On 5 September 2022, Liz Truss was appointed as the head of the Conservative Party and the UK’s new Prime Minister.

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Courteney Donaldson

Courteney Donaldson

Managing Director - Childcare & Education

Westminster. Credit: Aswin Mahesh

Image: Aswin Mahesh for Unsplash

She has been the MP for South-West Norfolk since 2010 and, between 2012 and 2014, served as Childcare and Education Minister, publishing the More Great Childcare report which outlined plans to raise the standard of childcare qualifications, set-up childminder agencies, and give nurseries more flexibility over staff to child ratios.

Following this, she held roles such as Environment Secretary, Justice Secretary, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Foreign Secretary, and Minister for Women and Equalities.

How will Truss’s new appointment impact the childcare sectors?

A new IEA Discussion paper, ‘Cutting Through: How to address the cost of living crisis’, was published in July 2022, which highlights:

  • The cost of childcare (+171%) is rising faster than average earnings (+66%) since 2000
  • Government funded initiatives have increased demand for childcare which has in turn increased costs
  • OECD data suggest England has the third highest costs for parents
  • There’s been a decline in registered childminders from 103,000 in 1996 to 36,600 in 2021
  • Brexit has made au pairs more expensive as they have to get a visa
  • Deregulation can mean cheaper childcare for poorer families

As someone who has been heavily involved in the Early Years sector and the debate around changing ratios, childcare has historically featured highly Truss’s agenda, and it will be interesting to see what changes she may have in store for the sector.

According to the IEA paper (page 23), such reforms may include:  

  • The removal or reduction of limitations on how many children nurseries and childminders are able to oversee
  • Allowing other parents and family members to provide childcare for pay, even if not formally accredited by Ofsted
  • Abolishing requirements for formal accreditation to become a childminder, allowing private agencies to set standards and provide accreditation checks such as in the Netherlands
  • Reducing or removing regulatory requirements, such as the EYFS, and oversight of nurseries – allowing standard-setting through private accreditation initiatives, quality comparison websites and parental oversight

 If you would like to further discuss how this might impact you and your childcare business options, contact Courteney Donaldson: / +44 7831 099 985

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