Out of School Alliance - Help and Support for Out of School Clubs

News for out of school clubs

Sector outraged over claims that many childcare providers are breaking minimum wage rules
New research has attracted criticism from the sector for claiming that one in ten practitioners are being paid less than the National Living Wage by childcare providers. However, the research is based upon data from a DfE survey which was carried out between March 2016, the month before the National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April, and when the legal minimum was £6.70 per hour, and July 2016. read more
17 March 2017, Nursery World

Dept for Education publishes new version of EYFS
The Department for Education has today published a new version of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This will supersede the current version of the Statutory Framework (which was issued in 2014) on 3 April this year. read more
3 March 2017, Department for Education

Dept for Education relaxes GCSE requirements for Level 3 staff
The Department for Education has just published its new Early Years Workforce Strategy in which it announces that its requirement for staff to hold a grade C in Maths and English at GCSE in order to counted as qualified staff is to be relaxed from 3 April this year. read more
3 March 2017, Department for Education

Breakfast clubs are a 'lifeline' to working parents
A survey by breakfast club provider Kellogg’s has found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of working parents believe that without access to a breakfast club they or their partner would need to give up work. read more
17 January 2017, Nursery World

£500,000 to fund school holiday lunch and fun clubs in Wales
Funding of £500,000 will go to summer holiday school lunch and fun clubs, the Welsh education secretary has said. The money will be offered to councils in the most deprived parts of Wales to help provide play schemes and meals over the summer break. read more
3 January 2017, BBC News

Childcare red tape review reveals confusion and high cost of legislation
Paperwork costs childcare providers more than £17m a year, a Government review into cutting red tape has found. Inspections, guidance, and paperwork are among the regulatory burdens faced by the childcare sector, costing providers millions of pounds a year. read more
16 December 2016, Nursery World

London DBS checks of 'great concern' as jobs lost
The Disclosure and Barring Service has said that the speed at which mandatory criminal checks are being completed by the Metropolitan Police is of "great concern". A DBS check is supposed to take up to eight weeks, with no checks taking longer than 60 days. But the Met is managing to complete only 51% of the cases within 61 days, and on average, a check takes 107 days. read more
13 December 2016, BBC News

Inspecting safeguarding in the Early Years
Gill Jones, Ofsted Early Education Deputy Director, has clarified how the updated Ofsted guidance 'Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings' affects Early Years settings. In particular she highlights the areas where the guidance is for education settings and does not apply to Early Years settings. read more
13 October 2016, Nursery World

Wraparound childcare policy failing due to lack of funding
Government ambitions for schools to provide wraparound childcare before and after lessons, as well as after-school clubs and holiday activities, are falling short due to inadequate funding, according to new research by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Family and Childcare Trust. read more
14 September 2016, The Guardian

4Children to close due to funding pressures
The charity 4Children, which is the government's strategic partner for early years and childcare, is to close down as of 1 September due to funding pressures. Many of its services, including 93 of its childcare settings, will be taken over by Action for Children. read more
30 August 2016, Children and Young People Now

NSPCC issues warning over leaving children home alone
As schools break up for the holidays, a children's charity is urging parents to think carefully before leaving children home alone over the summer. The NSPCC says leaving children at home without adult supervision puts them at greater risk of accident or injury. read more
20 July 2016, BBC News

Working parents face summer childcare struggle
Families face a struggle to find summer holiday childcare as councils across Britain report a lack of places. In Wales and the east of England, none of the councils responding to a Family and Childcare Trust survey, said it had enough places for all age groups. read more
20 July 2016, BBC News

MPs' warning over 30-hour free childcare offer
Government plans for 30 hours of free childcare are at risk because there may not be enough providers willing to offer the extra hours, an MPs’ report warns. The Public Accounts Committee report said today that it would be ‘a grave mistake’ to extend the policy and calls for the Department for Education to respond swiftly to its concerns. read more
15 June 2016, Nursery World

Government publishes new guidance for schools on how to respond to requests for wraparound care
The Department for Education has published its new guidance for schools on how they should respond to requests from parents (or from childcare providers) to provide wraparound care on school premises. read more
26 May 2016, Department for Education

Government considers revising 'disqualification by association'
The government is considering changing regulations so that people who live with a sex offender can get a childcare job in nurseries, schools and other non-domestic childcare settings. It has a launched a consultation to gather feedback on a number of alternative options. read more
6 May 2016, Children and Young People Now

Pre-school 'good' again after mobile phone downgrade
A previously 'outstanding' pre-school branded 'inadequate' by Ofsted after it sent mobile phone photos of children to parents, has been upgraded again following a re-inspection. Five months after downgrading Cherubs, Ofsted now considers the setting to be 'good', meaning its funding is restored and managers are no longer facing closure. read more
20 April 2016, Nursery World

Attainment gap fuelled by surge in out of school classes
The attainment gap between rich and poor is being fuelled by the growth in out of school classes such as dance and drama by pupils from middle class backgrounds, experts have warned. read more
18 April 2016, Herald Scotland

All primary schools to become academies
The government's 'Educational Excellence Everywhere' white paper announces that all schools, including all primary schools, will be forced to become academies by 2022, thus taking all schools out of local authority control. read more
17 March, Nursery World

Ofsted Early Years inspections to be brought back in-house
Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of early years inspectors from April 2017. Currently, Tribal and Prospects undertake early years inspections on Ofsted’s behalf. When these contracts expire on 31 March 2017 Ofsted will take take over the direct management of these inspections. read more
1 March 2016, Ofsted

Pre-school fights Ofsted downgrade on mobile phone use
Managers of a pre-school stripped of its Outstanding status after reported failings with mobile phone safeguarding, claim that they had a formal policy with which parents were happy. read more
22 February 2016, Nursery World

Outstanding nursery downgraded to inadequate due to mobile snaps
A previously outstanding nursery has been downgraded to inadequate after staff photographed children on their mobiles and sent the pictures to parents. While there was no suggestion the photographs were misused, inadequate procedures meant the children were ‘not safeguarded effectively’. read more
8 February 2016, Nursery World

Ofsted fees for childcare providers set to rise
Childcare minister Sam Gyimah has written to sector organisations to notify them of Government plans to consult on a rise to the annual Ofsted fees for childcare providers. read more
8 January 2016, Nursery World

Labour appoints new shadow childcare minister
Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Jenny Chapman as childcare minister, replacing Pat Glass, in the recent Labour reshuffle. read more
7 January 2016, Children and Young People Now

DFE to slash Ofsted budget by one quarter
Ofsted will have to cut its budget by a quarter over the next four years as a result of the government's spending review. The inspectorate has been told by the DfE to make savings of £38m over the next four years. News of the cut comes amid existing concerns about pressure on resources within Ofsted. read more
21 December 2015, Children and Young People Now

Government launches consultation on right to request use of school premises for out of school clubs
The Department for Education has launched a consultation on its 'new' proposals to allow parents and childcare providers to ask schools to use their premises to run breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs. The consultation ends on 29 February. read more
7 December 2015, Department for Education

Childcare providers set to get right to apply for school-based services
Under proposals unveiled today, childcare providers will be given the "right to request" that a school allows it to use its facilities to provide care for the children of parents at either end of the school day and during school holidays. read more
7 December 2015, Children and Young People Now

Government launches consultation on inspection and regulation of supplementary schools
The Department for Education has launched a new consultation on the regulation and inspection of out-of-school education settings. This would affect settings that provide intensive tuition, training or instruction for children, but which are not schools or registered childcare providers. Currently such settings are exempt from Ofsted regulation. read more
26 November 2015, Department for Education

Government launches consultation on compulsory first aid training for early years staff
The Department for Education has launched a consultation to gather feedback from the early years sector on proposals that would require all newly qualified early years staff to have a paediatric first aid qualification in order to be counted in staffing ratios. read more
15 October 2015, Department for Education

Schools won't be forced to provide wraparound childcare themselves
Schools won’t be forced to provide wraparound childcare themselves and can turn down 'unreasonable' requests from parents under new proposals announced by Nicky Morgan this week, which won’t apply to existing free schools and academies. read more
8 October 2015, Schools Week

Concerns over school childcare plans
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said that parents in England will be given the right to request schools provide childcare for the full working day during term time and in the holidays. But the childcare sector has voiced concerns about the plans. read more
7 October 2015, Children and Young People Now

Providers and parents win right to request out of school care
Childcare providers will have the right to ask schools to let them use their buildings to run out-of-school care on school sites, under plans announced by David Cameron. Parents will also have the right to request breakfast, after-school and holiday club provision at their schools. read more
6 October 2015, Nursery World

Out of school providers forced out by schools
The Out of School Alliance (OOSA) says it has seen a huge increase in the number of providers operating clubs having to hand over the provision to the school in which it is based. read more
5 October 2015, Nursery World

Wilshaw committed to bringing Early Years inspections in-house
Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has told MPs he is "committed" to bringing early years inspections in-house. Wilshaw said that although a consultation on the issue is currently taking place, he is keen for the current outsourced arrangements to end. read more
16 September 2015, Children and Young People Now

Out of school clubs judged against old criteria
Despite reforms last year to learning and development requirements, staff ratios and qualification levels for out-of-school clubs, a number of providers have reported being measured against the old criteria in their Ofsted inspections. read more
24 August 2015, Nursery World

Nurseries win victory over vehicle licensing rules
Nurseries in Barrow-in-Furness have won their fight against council plans to make them take out private hire licences for vehicles they use for pick-ups and drops off. The move would have cost the nurseries affected thousands of pounds per year. read more
23 June 2015, Nursery World

New common inspection framework emphasises curriculum
Assessment, curriculum and children’s outcomes are headline themes of the new common inspection framework (CIF) published yesterday by Ofsted. In addition childcare settings will get half a day's notice of inspections from September this year. read more
16 June 2015, Nursery World

Childcare business grant scheme increased and extended
It has been announced that the government will fund a further £2 million extension to the Childcare Business Grant scheme, taking availability of funding into 2015-2016, and the value of the grants will be doubled. read more
1 June 2015, Parenta

Conservative election victory to signal deep spending cuts
The children’s sector is bracing itself for deep cuts in welfare support and Whitehall budgets following the Conservative Party's outright victory in Thursday's general election. The Conservatives plan to cut spending by £30bn over the next two years. read more
8 May 2015, Children and Young People Now

David Laws is one of dozens of Lib Dems to lose seat
Three MPs who have had ministerial responsibility for children's and families' issues, David Laws, Jo Swinson and Simon Hughes, have been unseated at the general election. read more
8 May 2015, Children and Young People Now

Disqualification rules ineffective say providers
Rules banning early years staff from working with children because of who they live with are 'unfair' and 'ineffective', claim childcare providers. Early years providers want the rules on disqualification by association amended because it penalises staff for offences committed by someone else living under the same roof. read more
20 April 2015, Nursery World

Playwork practitioners back creation of new representative body
More than nine out of 10 playwork practitioners think a new membership body is needed for the profession in the UK, according to a poll. The survey also found that 96 per cent of practitioners said they would be interested in joining a new playworkers body. read more
12 March 2015, Children and Young People Now

Safe Network loses DfE grant
Safeguarding support charity Safe Network is facing an uncertain future after the Department for Education announced it is to axe its annual funding of £500,000. The service, which is run by the NSPCC and Children England, has been funded by the government since 2009. read more
6 March 2015, Children and Young People Now

Proposed counter-terrorism role for childcare settings
Staff in Ofsted-registered childcare settings, including nurseries and out of school clubs, will have a duty to report young children they deem at risk of radicalisation, under plans put out for consultation by the Government. Childcare settings will also have a duty to 'promote British values'. read more
12 January 2015, Nursery World

Parents consider quitting work over childcare costs
One in five UK parents with childcare costs will reduce the hours they work or consider giving up work altogether in 2015, according to a survey of 1,000 parents by 4Children. Over half of those surveyed - 51% - thought the political parties should commit to more help with the cost of childcare for parents. read more
8 January 2015, BBC News

Cash boost for out of school childcare in Wales
Centres which provide out-of-school childcare for families across Wales are to share £400,000 from the Welsh government. Play workshops in Caerphilly and Conwy will benefit, along with a new nursery in Wrexham and clubs in Cardiff. read more
18 December 2014, BBC News

CBI conference: Increase free childcare, business leaders urge
More free childcare and cutting taxes for the low paid are among the measures to raise living standards being recommended by business leaders at the annual CBI conference today. The CBI says that its childcare proposals would cost £0.3bn. read more
10 November 2014, BBC News

4Children boss 'preferred candidate' for next children's commissioner
4Children chief executive Anne Longfield has been named as the government’s preferred candidate for the next children’s commissioner for England. She will be formerly offered the position if the education select committee backs her candidacy when it holds its pre-appointment hearing with her on 11 November. read more
4 November 2014, Children and Young People Now

Guidance on Ebola issued to early years settings
Public Health England (PHE) has issued advice for childcare settings on how to detect if a child might have the Ebola virus. Included within the guidance is a flowchart to help staff who work at early years settings and schools understand what to do if they have children returning or visiting from affected countries. read more
22 October 2014, Nursery World

Play Wales wins funding and closure reprieve
Play Wales has been saved from closure after being handed £400,000 by the Welsh government to support local efforts to encourage play and tackle poverty. The move comes three months after it was turned down for funding through the Welsh government's children and families delivery grants (CFDG). read more
21 October 2014, Children and Young People Now

Ofsted announces changes to inspection cycle
Nick Hudson, Ofsted's Director of Early Years, has announced that, starting from 1 October they will be introducing several changes to the inspection cycle including carrying out post registration visits within 30 months instead of within seven months of registration. read more
26 September 2014, Nursery World

Ofsted takes enforcement action against Bishopswood After-School Club
An after-school club in Tadley has been told the children in its care are at risk of harm. The Ofsted report said the club is in breach of a number of legal requirements, including following rigorous health and hygiene procedures and ensuring a suitable manager and deputy manager are in place. read more
29 August 2014, Basingstoke Gazette

Out of school childcare lacking in many areas
Large areas of the country are not providing enough out-of-school childcare for primary-age children, a report suggests. A Family and Childcare Trust study highlights official data that says 28% of Britain's local councils are short of after-school care in their areas. read more
29 August 2014, BBC News

After-school club shut down by Ofsted plans to challenge decision
An Oxfordshire after-school club shut down by Ofsted as a result of two 'inadequate' inspections, has denied concerns over child protection led to its closure and refutes other criticisms made in the Ofsted report. read more
25 August 2014, BBC News

Sam Gyimah's childcare responsibilities confirmed
The responsibilities of the new childcare and education minister have now been confirmed by the Department for Education. Under his childcare and early years brief, Sam Gyimah's responsibilities include Early Years Education and EYFS, Wrap-around childcare, and Childcare availability. read more
12 August 2014, Nursery World

Tax-free childcare scheme to be run by NS&I
The government has announced that National Savings and Investments (NS&I) will be the sole operator to run the new tax-free childcare (TFC) accounts, when the scheme is introduced in September 2015. read more
10 August 2014, Nursery World

Campaigners highlight health and social benefits of play
Play campaigners are highlighting to policymakers the health and social benefits of play schemes in an attempt to encourage more government investment in the sector. The Play Return report has been handed to the Cabinet office and is being made available to senior politicians. read more
6 August 2014, Children and Young People Now

Parents forced to take time off work because of holiday childcare shortage
The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual Holiday Childcare Survey, says often patchy and expensive out-of-school provision means that 1 in 5 parents are forced to take time off work to look after their children during the six-week summer break. read more
18 July 2014, Nursery World

Gove and Truss ousted from Department for Education
Nicky Morgan has been appointed Secretary of State for Education as part of a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle that has seen a number of children’s sector ministerial posts change hands. Michael Gove is to become chief whip while Liz Truss becomes Secretary of State for the Environment. read more
15 July 2014, Children and Young People Now

Covering up child abuse should be criminal offence says NSPCC
The NSPCC is calling for a duty on institutions, such as hospitals and children’s homes, to report abuse. Currently there are no specific mandatory regulations in the UK requiring professionals to report suspicions about child abuse to the authorities.  read more
9 July 2014, Nursery World

Ofsted confirms separate grades for early years in schools
Early years provision in schools will be graded separately from September, Ofsted has confirmed. The grade for early years may also affect the overall grade awarded for the school’s provision.  read more
2 July 2014, Nursery World

Survey shows childcare providers have 'serious' concerns about Tax-Free Childcare
A survey carried out by the Childcare Voucher Providers Association reveals that two thirds of providers have serious concerns about the impact of Tax-Free Childcare if the Government goes ahead with plans to run it through a single, public sector organisation.  read more
27 June 2014, Nursery World

Childcare sector slams 'misguided' government early years policies
The majority of early years professionals are opposed to a string of planned changes to childcare policy, according to a survey by the Pre-School Learning Alliance. Those surveyed were opposed to childminder agencies and the 'schoolification' of 2 year olds, and felt that the government did not adequately consult the sector when developing policies.  read more
6 June 2014, Children and Young People Now

Childcare will be key battleground in 2015 as all three parties prepare to release their plans
A Bill to introduce 'tax-free childcare' will be included in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday as the three main parties seek to make the issue a critical one at next year’s general election.  read more
2 June 2014, The Independent

Ofsted to end third-party contracts and employ school inspectors directly
Ofsted is to end its contracts with service providers and employ school inspectors directly, as it seeks to improve its oversight of schools in England. But the change will only apply to Ofsted inspectors of schools and further education colleges, leaving oversight of early years' educators in the hand of contract inspectors.  read more
29 May 2014, The Guardian

Govt launches consultation on tax-free childcare accounts
The government has launched a further consultation on the implementation of its tax-free childcare scheme, this time looking in detail at how the parent accounts will be implemented.  read more
23 May 2014, HMRC

Nutbrown Level 3 recommendations for Early Years settings dismissed
The DfE has confirmed that it will not go ahead with recommendations made by Professor Cathy Nutbrown to move towards a minimum Level 3 qualification for all early years practitioners counted in staff:child ratios. read more
24 March 2014, Nursery World

Tax-free childcare plans extended to under 12s
The government has announced that its planned tax-free childcare scheme will be extended to include all children under 12 in its first year, not just the under 5s as originally envisaged. In addition the maximum that can be claimed has increased from £1,200 to £2,000 per child.   read more
18 March 2014, BBC News

Ofsted abandons complaint-driven inspections
Complaints against childcare providers will no longer automatically trigger inspections of settings, Ofsted has confirmed. It will now only inspect settings where a compliance issue has been reported when it deems necessary.   read more
18 February 2014, Children and Young People Now

Anger over new after-school childcare ratios plan
Childcare groups have reacted angrily to government plans to allow one member of staff look after as many as 30 children in after-school clubs.   read more
14 February 2014, BBC News

Government proposes staff ratio changes for out-of-school care
In its response to the childcare regulation consultation, the government said it plans to scrap the existing 1:8 staff-to-child ratio for children aged five to seven, as well as a requirement for a qualified childcare manager to be present.   read more
14 February 2014, Children and Young People Now

DfE cuts red tape to pave the way for longer school day
The Government intends to revise the EYFS in April as part of moves to simplify regulation and encourage schools to open for longer hours and provide more childcare.   read more
13 February 2014, Nursery World

Extending the school day would be counterproductive for primary pupils, warns teaching union
The National Union of Teachers says that extending the school day for up to ten hours would be 'counterproductive', especially for primary schools pupils as they would find it very difficult to concentrate for this long.   read more
3 February 2014, Nursery World

Parents are spending more on childcare
There has been a "significant increase" in the average amount spent by families on childcare in England each week, according to an official survey for the DfE. However parents also reported a fall in hourly costs for day nurseries and childminders.   read more
30 January 2014, BBC News

Plans for blanket school holiday cut
A former adviser, Paul Kirby, has said that the Tories are planning changes that would see school days extended until 6.00pm, and school holidays reduced from the current 13 weeks to seven. Michael Gove denies this.   read more
30 January 2014, BBC News

Two in three mothers say cost of childcare is an obstacle to work
Around two-thirds of mothers cite the cost of childcare as a barrier to taking on more employment, according to a new report by the Resolution Foundation.   read more
23 January 2014, Nursery World

Pre-School Learning Alliance rejects claims of 19% childcare cost rises
PLA Chief Executive Neil Leitch says "This survey only cites changes in the rates of nannies, babysitters, mother’s helpers and housekeepers. While such childcare professionals may make up the majority of findababysitter.com’s own client base, they only comprise a small proportion of early years providers across the country. As such, the results of such a survey are in no way representative of what is happening in the childcare market as a whole."   read more
13 January 2014, Pre-School Learning Alliance

Childcare costs rose by 19% in 2013, says website
Childcare costs rose by an average of 19% in the year to December 2013, according to Findababysitter.com's annual report which collected data from 231,000 nannies, childminders and other professionals.   read more
13 January 2014, BBC News

Childcare costs force mothers in the capital to leave work
A lack of affordable, flexible childcare is stopping London parents working, according to the London Assembly. Its report finds that mothers are being forced into lower-paid, less secure part-time jobs or out of work altogether in a bid to reduce childcare costs.   read more
20 December 2013, Nursery World

Liz Truss wants schools to open 8.00am-6.00pm
In her speech at the Family Childcare Trust conference Liz Truss advocated the idea that all primary schools should provide wraparound care from 8.00am (or even earlier) to 6.00pm so that working parents have access to affordable childcare.   read more
12 December 2013, DfE

Labour should adopt universal childcare, suggests thinktank
A universal state-funded childcare service delivered through children's centres is one of the recommendations of a major report into the condition of Britain published this week by the centre-left thinktank the IPPR.    read more
11 December 2013, The Guardian

Ofsted figures show rise in 'inadequate' early years settings
Statistics for early years inspections carried out between September 2012 and August 2013 show that seven per cent of providers were judged inadequate, compared to three per cent of providers in 2011-12.    read more
6 December 2013, Nursery World

NI parents quitting jobs because of cost of childcare
According to the Northern Ireland Childcare Costs 2013 survey, 50 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men have either cut the number of hours they work or left employment all together due to the high cost of childcare.    read more
6 December 2013, Nursery World

Complained-about settings face increased downgrade risk
Early years settings that are inspected as the result of a complaint or concern are nearly twice as likely to have their Ofsted rating downgraded as those that do not, new analysis suggests.    read more
3 December 2013, Children and Young People Now

College investigated after complaint over Level 3 advert
A distance-learning college is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint that an advert on its website for a Level 3 qualification in childcare was misleading.    read more
2 December 2013, Nursery World

Labour to offer guaranteed childcare at primary schools from 8am to 6pm
Labour is to offer a 'legal guarantee' of childcare between 8am and 6pm – from breakfast to after-school clubs – at primary schools, Ed Miliband has announced.    read more
18 November 2013, The Guardian

Attempt to legally limit childcare ratios fails
The government has left the door open to increase staff-to-child ratios in early years settings after plans to put current limits into law via amendments to the Children and Families Bill were scrapped.    read more
15 November 2013, Children and Young People Now

Not reporting child abuse 'should be criminal offence'
Teachers and other professionals who do not report child abuse suspicions should face prosecution, according to the former director of public prosecutions, but the government says mandatory reporting is not the answer.    read more
4 November 2013, BBC News

Support for childcare improvement must match tougher inspection regime
Childcare providers identified by Ofsted as needing improvement under the regulator's new inspection regime could struggle to access local authority support to tackle deficiencies, warns the Family and Childcare Trust.    read more
4 November 2013, Children and Young People Now

DfE parents' survey re-ignites fears over ratio changes
A new Department for Education survey asking parents for their opinions on staff:child ratios has raised concern among the sector that there will be a renewed push for a relaxation.    read more
28 October 2013, Nursery World

Cherie Blair calls for universal childcare
Cherie Blair is calling for a Government strategy towards universal pre-school childcare with the ultimate aim of childcare for all parents, whatever their background and the age of their children.    read more
21 October 2013, Nursery World

Outcomes focus for new Ofsted early years framework
Safeguarding, safety and teaching are set to be the focus of Ofsted's new inspection framework. The framework, which takes effect on 4 November, will take a tougher approach to the regulation of early years settings.    read more
11 October 2013, Children and Young People Now

Lucy Powell named new shadow minister for childcare and early years
Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central, has been appointed as Labour's new shadow minister for childcare and early years, in the opposition's junior reshuffle.    read more
9 October 2013, Nursery World

Labour to guarantee care for primary school children from 8.00am to 6.00pm
Labour will offer parents of primary school children guaranteed access to childcare from 8am to 6pm, as the party opens a crucial annual conference dedicated to showing it is on the side of those struggling with falling living standards.   read more
20 September 2013, The Guardian

All infants in England to get free school lunches
All pupils at infant schools in England are to get free school lunches from next September, Lib Dem leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg has announced.   read more
17 September 2013, BBC News

Early years groups slam Ofsted grades for children's centres
The Pre-school Learning Alliance has accused Ofsted of unfairly downgrading children’s centres, after latest inspection figures showed more than half are failing or require improvement.   read more
9 September 2013, Children and Young People Now

Employers call for clarity on Tax Free Childcare
Many employers are confused about the benefits of the Government's new Tax-Free Childcare scheme and unclear about how they will be involved, new research suggests.   read more
28 August 2013, Nursery World

Government launches consultation on tax-free childcare
The government has launched its promised consultation on its proposals for tax-free childcare which it plans to phase in from 2015 as a replacement for the current employer supported childcare vouchers. Initially the scheme will only be open to under 5s.   read more
5 August 2013, HMRC

Childcare voucher scheme: Plan 'will include parents who are carers'
The government says it wants to expand a new childcare tax credit scheme to include parents who stay at home because they are full-time carers.   read more
5 August 2013, BBC News

DfE launches consultation on the regulation of childcare providers
The Department for Education has launched a consultation on the regulation of childcare. The proposals include sweeping away all qualification and staff ratio requirements for out of school clubs, as well as removing the duty on out of school clubs to deliver the EYFS learning and development requirements.   read more
16 July 2013, Department for Education

New before- and after-school childcare plans expected
The government's Commission on Childcare is expected shortly to set out plans to tackle the shortage and affordability of before and after-school care for children in England.   read more
16 July 2013, BBC News

Greggs charity expands breakfast clubs
The charity run by the bakery chain Greggs runs around 230 breakfast clubs across the UK providing over 11,000 children with breakfast each day. It has opened 12 new breakfast clubs this year, and has many more primary schools on the waiting list.   read more
5 July 2013, Nursery World

State schools in England allowed to set own term dates
All state schools in England will be able to decide their own term dates, under plans for more school autonomy announced by the government. It could mean that more state schools switch from the long six week summer holidays.   read more
1 July 2013, BBC News

School survey reveals how poverty blights children's lives
A recent survey by Unison found that 55 per cent of school support staff have seen an increase this year in the number of children turning up to school hungry and relying on breakfast clubs.   read more
27 June 2013, Nursery World

Educational charity ContinYou to close down
The education charity ContinYou will cease to operate by the end of July. The charity Family Action has taken on ContinYou's project funded by the Department for Education, worth almost £1m, to help schools establish wraparound care for pupils.   read more
24 June 2013, Children and Young People Now

Wider Government reforms scrutinised after ratio U-turn
The early years and childcare sector may have won the battle against plans to change childcare ratios, but the focus will now shift to the other childcare reforms set out in More Great Childcare.   read more
17 June 2013, Nursery World

Labour's Byrne pledges to put childcare at heart of employment policy
Labour has signalled it will try to emulate Denmark in increasing childcare availability and affordability to encourage more women into work, if it is returned to power.   read more
7 June 2013, Children and Young People Now

Disclosure and Barring Service to launch the Update Service
The Disclosure and Barring Service has announced that its new Update Service will be available from 17 June. Employees will be able to pay £13 per year to join the service under which they won't need to obtain a new DBS check whenever they change job.   read more
24 May 2013, Disclosure and Barring Service

Sector to lose subsidy on criminal records checks
Providers and individuals will be liable for the full cost of a criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) from the beginning of July, when the Government removes the subsidy that has been in place since 2002.   read more
2 May 2013, Nursery World

Childcare start-up grants open to applications
Government grants intended to encourage the setting up of new childcare businesses are now open for applications. The scheme offers up to £250 for individual childminders or £500 for group settings during the 2013/14 financial year.   read more
1 May 2013, Children and Young People Now

Childcare among biggest pressures on family budgets, research finds
A year-long study of 11 families has identified childcare, cars, credit and inflation as the main sources of financial pressure on households with children.   read more
26 April 2013, Children and Young People Now

Ofsted launches consultation on new inspection regime
Ofsted has launched a new consultation on its proposals to revise the inspection framework for early years settings. It proposes that the 'satisfactory' grading is replaced with 'requires improvement'. Such settings will be inspected more frequently and risk being de-registered if they fail to improve over several inspection cycles.   read more
19 April 2013, Ofsted

Early years providers to face tougher inspection regime
Ofsted has announced proposals for tougher inspections for early years settings. Under the plans, childcare providers currently classed as 'satisfactory' will be dubbed 'requiring improvement' and undergo extra inspections.   read more
19 April 2013, BBC News

Spending on early childhood services - Is England really near the top of the league?
The figures behind the Government's claim to be a big spender in early childhood services don't appear to add up. In fact it appears that England's spending is below the OECD average.   read more
8 April 2013, Nursery World

Breakfast clubs vital for disadvantaged children
Almost half of education staff believe that without a breakfast club pupils who use them wouldn't have any food before lessons, according to a survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.   read more
27 March 2013, Nursery World

Govt launches consultation into role of local authorities in childcare
The Government has launched a new consultation into the role of local authorities in supporting childcare. Proposals include removing the duty on local authorities to provide training and business support to childcare providers.   read more
25 March 2013, Department for Education

Working parents to be given up to £1,200 a year in childcare support
Parents on joint incomes of up to £300,000 will be eligible for tax-free childcare support worth £1,200 a year under a new scheme that will be one of the central measures in Wednesday's budget.   read more
19 March 2013, The Guardian

Childcare costs scheme 'better for parents'
The government has promised to create a 'better' childcare system for parents, by allowing them to claim back up to £1,200 a year in costs per child.   read more
19 March 2013, BBC News

Daycare Trust publishes its 2013 childcare costs survey
The Daycare Trust's childcare costs survey finds that the steepest cost hikes are seen in childcare for older children – with 15 hours a week at an after-school club costing an average of £49.67, a rise of 9 per cent.   read more
6 March 2013, Daycare Trust

Childcare costs: Parents 'see rise of £5 a week'
Average childcare costs across England, Scotland and Wales rose by £5 a week (or 6%) per child in a year, according to the Daycare Trust's annual survey.   read more
6 March 2013, BBC News

Daycare Trust highlights 'national scandal' of childcare sufficiency
Local authorities are failing to meet their duties to provide sufficient childcare for working families in their area, according to the Daycare Trust's annual childcare costs survey.   read more
4 March 2013, Children and Young People Now

Childcare leaders criticise ratios consultation
Early years leaders are warning that responses to the government consultation on changes to the childcare system could be 'unviable', because of the piecemeal release of details relating to the reforms.   read more
26 February 2013, Children and Young People Now

Removal of LAs' early years quality role raises alarm
Local authorities will no longer have a role to improve quality in early years settings, leaving the future of the work of early years authority advisers and their teams unclear.   read more
13 February 2013, Nursery World

After-school club treasurer from Maidstone jailed for fraud
The treasurer of an after-school club in Maidstone who pleaded guilty to siphoning more than £30,000 out of the club’s account has been jailed for 14 months.   read more
11 February 2013, Kent News

ARM backs 1,000 after school clubs to help children learn to code
Code Club, a network of after school coding clubs for children aged 9 to 11, has received its first real sponsorship from chip designer ARM. ARM has announced that it will support and fund up to 1,000 additional after school coding clubs.   read more
6 February 2013, The Next Web

Children and Families Bill introduces childcare reforms without consultation
Early years leaders have expressed disappointment over the government’s decision to announce changes to childcare legislation without consultation.   read more
6 February 2013, Children and Young People Now

Liz Truss childcare plan will lead to tears long before bedtime
Liz Truss's plan to create "more great childcare" by cutting red tape, sitting back and waiting for the market to provide, is a classic example of laissez-faire, supply-side economics at its most dangerous.   read more
3 February 2013, The Guardian

'More Great Childcare': a guide to the key points
The long-awaited Government response to Professor Cathy Nutbrown's review of early education and childcare qualifications goes further than responses to her recommendations.   read more
29 January 2013, Nursery World

Truss reaffirms plan to change childcare ratios
Plans to relax ratios in childcare settings look set to remain on the government’s agenda, despite forthcoming research that is expected to challenge the validity of the idea.   read more
23 January 2013, Children and Young People Now

Councils slash childcare training by more than 40 per cent
Local authority spending on training for childcare staff was cut by at least 40% during the last financial year, and four local authorities now have no budget for training childcare staff.   read more
11 January 2013, Children and Young People Now

Disarray as child care tax break is put on hold
Just three days after the plans to give every parent with children under five tax relief worth about £2,000 per child were revealed, the Coalition has been forced to postpone its announcement as haggling between senior ministers over the detail and funding of the scheme continues.   read more
11 January 2013, The Telegraph

Cut nursery staff to child ratio, urges minister
Staff at nurseries in England should be allowed to look after more children at once, Schools Minister Elizabeth Truss has urged. In a blog Ms Truss described England's adult-to child ratios for nurseries and childminders as "restrictive".   read more
8 January 2013, BBC News

Working mothers to get child care tax break worth thousands of pounds
Families could be entitled to claim up to £2,000 per child every year from their tax bills to cover the cost of childminders and nurseries as part of a new government scheme to help families. The new childcare tax break will draw heavily on a report from the Commission on Childcare.   read more
7 January 2013, The Telegraph

Childcare costs 'keep many in poverty'
It is "impossible" for some of the UK's poorest families to work their way out of poverty because of high childcare costs, according to Barnado's, with some families potentially having to pay to go to work despite welfare changes.   read more
7 January 2013, BBC News

Early years sector fears change in staff-to-child ratios
With the government’s childcare commission expected to report in a matter of days, practitioners believe government will not allocate additional money towards cutting childcare costs, but will instead introduce a ratio change, enabling childcarers to look after more children.   read more
10 December 2012, Children and Young People Now

Ministers 'plan childcare change'
The UK government is planning to announce changes to how much childcare costs in England and Wales. The plans are believed to include making some provisions tax deductible as well as changes to both the qualifications of child minders, and the number of children they are permitted to care for.   read more
10 December 2012, BBC News

Parents anger at after-school club axe
Parents have expressed their anger and disbelief after a popular after-school club in the town was axed. Head teacher at Hilderthorpe, Amanda Barnett, said that the school had decided to close the club due to 'financial constraints'.   read more
18 November 2012, Bridlington Free Press

Equalities minister announces £2m start-up grant for childcare businesses
Government grants of up to £500 will be available to encourage entrepreneurs to set up childcare businesses from next year.   read more
14 November 2012, Nursery World

Government 'plans to deregulate childcare' in children and families bill
Decreased ratios of staff to children and lower qualification requirements could be included in the Children and Families bill, according to a source working closely with the childcare commission.   read more
12 November 2012, Children and Young People Now

Paying living wage could bankrupt nurseries or hit parents with huge fee rises
Nurseries and early years organisations have been responding to proposals by Ed Miliband that the 'the living wage' would be 'the norm' under a Labour Government.   read more
12 November 2012, Nursery World

Soaring cost of childcare 'stops parents seeking work'
The rising cost of childcare means that going out to work full-time is now hardly worthwhile for a growing number of "second earners" in middle- and low-income families, a major study will reveal this week.   read more
28 October 2012, The Observer

'Failed' inspectors lose their jobs after Ofsted test
Large numbers of early years inspectors stand to lose their jobs after failing an assessment set by Ofsted to assess their competence.   read more
15 October 2012, Nursery World

Academic rejects proposals to deregulate childcare sector
Deregulating the childcare sector and decreasing ratios of staff to children would damage the quality of provision, a leading academic has warned.   read more
11 October 2012, Children and Young People Now

'Extortionate' childcare costs could derail moves to 'make work pay'
The soaring cost of childcare is threatening to undermine the Government’s attempts to "make work pay", a think-tank with links to the Tories warns.   read more
4 October 2012, Daily Telegraph

Private schools will be able to opt out of the EYFS
From 26 October, Independent schools that are considered of good enough quality will be able to apply for exemption from the learning and development goals of the EYFS.   read more
3 October 2012, Nursery World

Mothers forced to stay at home as childcare costs outweigh income
Calls have been made for 'radical proposals' to make childcare more affordable for mothers, as it was revealed Scottish childcare costs are 'amongst the highest in the UK'.   read more
2 October 2012, Daily Record

'Don't outlaw risk,' experts say after tragedy
Early years settings should weigh up the benefits of outdoor play against the risks and include children in their assessment so that valuable opportunities are not lost, play experts have advised following the death of a child at a nursery's outdoor area.   read more
1 October 2012, Nursery World

Why school breakfast clubs are on the education frontline
Free breakfast clubs are a lifeline for busy parents and families whose budgets have been cut to the bone. But as demand accelerates, funding is being cut.   read more
16 September 2012, The Observer

Camden Council launches new play service
Camden Council's new reduced play provision run in partnership with the voluntary and community sector is underway. Camden said that the difficult financial climate meant they had to cut their budget for play services from £4.3 million to £1.5 million.   read more
14 September 2012, Nursery World

After school club in Chiswell Green forced to close
The manager of an after school club in Chiswell Green said she is 'gutted' that the doors of the club will be forced to close at the end of the year because of a lack of staff.   read more
7 September 2012, St Albans and Harpenden Review

Ofsted publishes new inspection framework
Ofsted inspections are to place a greater focus on the progress children make in their learning and less on paperwork, under changes set out in its new early years framework.   read more
5 September 2012, Nursery World

Children's play and leisure: promoting a balanced approach
HSE has published a statement emphasising the benefits of risky play for children and clarifying that it wants to ensure that mistaken health and safety concerns do not create sterile play environments that lack challenge.   read more
4 September 2012, Health and Safety Executive

Childcare Commission: Bad timing of consultation will limit response
The early years sector has raised concerns that the timing of the Government's Childcare Commission consultation, over the summer holidays and during the Olympics, will limit the number of practitioners that respond to the call for evidence.   read more
20 August 2012, Nursery World

Kirklees families to benefit from free childcare up to age of 14
Kirklees local authority in West Yorkshire plans to trial free childcare for parents on Jobseekers Allowance. Up to 25 hours free childcare during term time will be made available for children up to the age of 14 from eligible families.   read more
20 August 2012, Children and Young People Now

IPPR says that current childcare system isn't working
In the run-up to the school holidays, childcare policy was given prominence by the Government and the opposition. This consensus of concern acknowledges that the current settlement isn't working.   read more
6 August 2012, Nursery World

Childcare Commission issues call for evidence
The new Childcare Commission has opened its informal consultation on the provision of wrap-around and holiday care, and how childcare can support families back into work, with a call for evidence.   read more
19 July 2012, Department for Work and Pensions

Holiday childcare gaps revealed by survey
A new survey by the DayCare Trust reveals that just one in three local councils have enough holiday childcare. Two-thirds of local authorities in England are failing in their legal duty to ensure there is sufficient childcare available in their area this summer.   read more
19 July 2012, DayCare Trust

Treasurer accused of stealing £24,000 from after school club
The former treasurer of a childrens' club in Fife is to stand trial charged with defrauding it of more than £24,000.   read more
12 July 2012, BBC News

More observation, less focus on paperwork, promises Ofsted
Ofsted's new early years inspections, due to be carried out from 3 September, will have a strong focus on personal, social and emotional development and children's progress in learning.   read more
25 June 2012, Nursery World

Emotional neglect and emotional abuse in pre-school children
NSPCC releases a new leaflet to help all professionals working with young children (aged 0-6 years) recognise the signs of neglect and emotional abuse.   read more
25 June 2012, NSPCC

Childcare commission to consider cutting ratios for out-of-school care
The Prime Minister is launching a childcare commission today to look at how to reduce the cost of childcare for families and cut bureaucracy. The commission will consider whether adult to child ratios could be relaxed to encourage childcare providers to set up out-of-school clubs.   read more
19 June 2012, Nursery World

Childcare review launched as nursery reforms urged
Downing Street is launching a review of childcare and child-minding to see how it can be made more affordable by cutting red tape. The commission will focus on deregulation, child-minding and how to expand wrap-around care for schoolchildren.   read more
19 June 2012, BBC News

Nutbrown Review: Final report maps way ahead for quality early years workforce
Half of all staff qualified to Level 3 by September 2013, and all by 2022, a new early years teaching qualification, minimum standards for maths and English, and clear job titles and roles, are among some of the 19 recommendations made by Professor Cathy Nutbrown.   read more
19 June 2012, Nursery World

Islington brings in legal measure to protect adventure playgrounds
Islington Council has agreed to implement a legal order that will protect all of its 12 adventure playgrounds from being sold or built upon. The move comes after a campaign by Islington Play Association, which has been trying to secure protection for land on which children play.   read more
15 June 2012, Children and Young People Now

Higher qualifications put pressure on salaries but pay rates still below average
A report by the Department for Education shows that while salaries in the childcare sector are low, parents in England pay more than their European counterparts, despite the Government spending more than other countries on investing in childcare.   read more
11 June 2012, Nursery World

Councillors support breakfast clubs
Perth and Kinross Council is to make cash available to support the creation of voluntary-run breakfast clubs at more primary schools after successes were noted at established clubs elsewhere.   read more
8 June 2012, Perthshire Advertiser

Buzz Clubs faces closure
The Buzz Clubs, which offers before and after-school and holiday clubs in Winslow, has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted but is set to close in August if it can’t find some financial support. The economic downturn has led to a fall in numbers attending the club   read more
4 June 2012, Bicester Advertiser

One in four childcare providers 'make loss'
A government report suggests that almost a quarter of childcare providers are making a loss despite fees in England being among the highest in the world.   read more
2 June 2012, BBC News