Regulation of childcare
Last 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
Action for Children 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.