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Regulation of childcare

School childrenLast year, in tandem with publishing More Affordable Childcare, the Government launched a public consultation on the regulation of childcare, which ran from July to September 2013. The consultation received 386 responses and the DfE held meetings with key stakeholders.

In February 2014, the Government published its response to the consultation on the regulation of childcare, which outlines plans to:

  • Align the staffing and qualification requirements for out-of-hours care for children in the reception class and 5-7year olds with those governing the school day
  • Remove the requirement for out-of-hours providers to meet the EYFS learning and development requirements for those children who are in the reception class
  • Raise the threshold for compulsory registration from two hours to three hours where the care is provided both in friendship and in domestic settings – for example, a parent can pay a friend to look after children for up to three hours a day in the friend’s own home without the friend needing to register with Ofsted
  • Enable providers to register multiple premises in a single registration process. For example, a nursery chain can notify Ofsted of its intention to open a number of new settings in a single registration process
  • Enable childminders to operate on non-domestic premises for part of the working week. For example, a childminder could provide care on school premises from 3-6pm
  • Remove the requirement for local authorities to approve childminder training – this will open up the market and improve access to training for childminders, including from childminder agencies
  • Align the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Register and the General Childcare Register (GCR)
  • Rename the GCR to become the Child Safety Register.

Download the powerpoint presentation: Regulation of childcare – in practice

Working towards a more flexible and responsive childcare offer

4Children is testing out new approaches to childcare that it believes will help families access the support they need when trying to balance work and home commitments.

As part of this, nine new Community Childcare and Early Learning Hubs are now up and running around the country. The hubs bring together childcare settings, such as nurseries, out of school clubs, and childminders in an area as one co-ordinated source for parents.

Measuring what matters

Measuring What Matters4Children has launched the first evidence and measurement framework Measuring What Matters: A guide for children’s centres to demonstrate the positive impact of children’s centres. The framework is a new national evidence tool and will be vital in supporting children’s centres to maximise their potential and to demonstrate their effectiveness.

Involving Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Organisations in Children’s Centres

4Children recently worked with 15 local authorities in England, to enable VCS organisations to take a more active role in managing and delivering Children’s Centre services. The two year programme (from March 2011 to March 2013) aimed to improve both local authority and Children’s Centre managers’ involvement, engagement and commissioning of the VCS in delivering services to Children’s Centres.  

The charity also participated in a second, year long programme (from October 2012 to October 2013) with 10 local partners in England. This involved 4Children enabling and facilitating parents, staff and community groups to prepare to take on services or Children’s Centres.

For more details about both of these programmes, please visit: