Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from National Day Nurseries Association (EYF 10)

1.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendation 3

  NDNA believes that schools should be encouraged to use the information and records that accompany a child from a day care or playgroup setting. This is an important source of information that will include parents' contributions. It is often overlooked and undervalued.

2.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 7 and 8

  NDNA believes that all children in registered childcare should be protected by the same set of standards. The Government's failure to tackle this issue undermines and undervalues the professional status of childminding. NDNA believes that the "evidence" produced by the Government undermines the value of the original consultation and the questions predispose the response.

  Every early years organisation and the National Consultation Group for the Regulation of Childminding and Day Care all oppose this decision, which we believe is in direct conflict with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

3.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 13 and 14

  NDNA would wish to see a close monitoring of the staffing ratios in the maintained sector. The increase of unqualified "classroom assistants" on low salaries has sometimes been at the expense of qualified nursery nurses. The advantages of an increase in staff will be undermined if quality is not addressed.

4.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 19 and 20

  Stronger words than "encouraging" need to be used if parents are ever to feel comfortable in deferring their child's entry to school. This issue has never been addressed with any conviction.

5.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 26 and 27

  We welcome the commitment to training but recognise that a number of EYDCPs still have difficulty in allowing the private and voluntary sector to take an active role in developing training to suit their needs.

6.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 30 and 37

  NDNA welcomes the Select Committee's points and believes that there is too much Government emphasis on QTS as the ultimate goal for all early years practitioners. NDNA would want to see a greater commitment to developing a ladder of progression with the childcare profession that is equivalent to but not subsumed by "teaching qualifications".

  We believe that the targets set by the National Standards for qualified staff are too low and action should be taken to ensure that levels of staff qualified to level 3 do not drop below those at present in day nurseries.

7.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 32 and 33

  NDNA would consider it inappropriate for EYDCPs to publish rates of pay for early years staff in the voluntary or private sector. However, NDNA recognises the need to review pay and conditions in order to recruit and retain high quality staff. Urgent research needs to be undertaken to calculate the true cost of childcare if salaries were to be increased.

8.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 48 to 50

  NDNA recognises an urgent need for EYDCPs to be impartial and for all sectors of providers to be enabled to take an active part. A major concern will remain that because of the inherent design of the infrastruture provider representatives will always be outnumbered. The views of practitioners from the voluntary and private sectors will always be marginalised.

9.   Ref: Select Committee Recommendations 53 and 54

  NDNA would emphasise the need for the Government to recognise the difficulties for the private and voluntary sector created by funding policies. Decisions made by EYDCPs often reflect the Local Authorities reluctance to use the funds outside the maintained sectors.

April 2001

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