As part of efforts to hand providers greater flexibility and autonomy, the government has launched two important consultations.
The first is related to proposed regulatory changes to childcare in England. It will seek views on proposals to:
- Change the current statutory minimum staff:child ratios in England for 2-year-olds from 1:4 to 1:5;
- Allow childminders to care for a fourth child under the age of 5 providing one is either a sibling of another child they care for, or their own child, whilst continuing to only allow childminders to care for a maximum of 6 children under the age of 8;
- Make the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework (EYFS) explicit that ‘adequate supervision’ while children are eating means that children must be in sight and hearing of an adult.
The second is related to proposed updates to the early years funding formulae and maintained nursery school supplementary funding. The government is proposing to update the funding formulae for children aged 2-4, as they are no longer using the most recent data available. They are also proposing reforms to create a fairer distribution of maintained nursery school supplementary funding.
Both of these consultations close at 11.45pm on 16 September.