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NDNA CEO warns committee against 'light touch' inspections
by David Bagley - Friday, 17 October 2014, 10:07 AM
 

Giving evidence at today’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill Committee, the chief executive of leading early years charity, National Day Nurseries Association, said the welfare of children goes hand in hand with the drive to more two-year-old places.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, was invited to represent the early years sector giving evidence on the bill which includes a move to allow schools to open for two-year-olds without having to be registered with Ofsted as early years providers.

Ms Tanuku, who has also given evidence to the Childcare Payments Bill Committee this week on Tax Free Childcare, said there were strong objections to proposals which would mean light touch oversight of schools providing two-year-old places.

She argued the bill will mean childcare and early education in schools for two-year-olds is not subjected to the specific early years registration inspection process. This provision, which will include the most disadvantaged children, could be established and operate without the quality assurance of expert early years scrutiny by Ofsted. She stressed that very young children have specific needs which early years staff are trained to deliver. It cannot be assumed a school performing well in primary education will provide good or outstanding care and education for very young children.

Ms Tanuku told the committee that if schools willing to offer two-year-old places find testing themselves against registration and inspection requirements specific to those children’s needs too much of a burden then they should not take on the responsibility of providing those places.

Deregulation for schools will also tilt the already unlevel playing field further away from private and voluntary nurseries as well as childminders. Schools providing childcare do not have to shoulder the heavy overheads such as Business Rates and VAT, other small providers face.

There is however, one aspect of the Bill Ms Tanuku welcomed and that was the proposal to introduce a Small Business Appeals Champion, described as a Reviewer. As there is currently no independent body involved in the Ofsted appeals process incorrect decisions can only be overturned by Ofsted itself. NDNA would like to see the Reviewer’s powers go further than just reviewing the complaints and appeals processes of regulators to scrutinising and overturning flawed regulatory decisions.

 
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NDNA welcomes Welsh Government plan to develop a highly skilled workforce to improve early years education
by David Bagley - Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 09:45 AM
 

Leading early years organisation National Day Nurseries Association has welcomed the announcement today of the Welsh Government's draft ten year plan to develop a highly skilled workforce to improve early years education.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, NDNA Chief Executive said: "We're really pleased the Welsh Government is recognising the value of early years education and the specialist expertise of staff who work in the sector. While we all want to see a well-trained, qualified early years workforce and improved adult to child ratios, there are doubts as to how this will be funded.  Many nurseries are struggling to meet rising costs and are losing money on free early education places.  A more highly qualified workforce will demand higher salaries and further push up costs for parents unless it goes hand in hand with additional funding.

"There must be investment if the sector is to build a high quality workforce and make early years and childcare an aspirational career."

NDNA Cymru was a member of the task group on the Independent Review of Childcare and Early Education Registration, Regulation and Inspection which recognised the importance of a highly qualified early years and childcare workforce and has led to the launch of today's plan.

NDNA's 2014 annual nursery survey showed nurseries in Wales were making an average loss of £684 per child per year.

For more information please contact press and policy officer Sophie McCandlish on 01484 407066/07788 585502 email sophie.mccandlish@ndna.org.uk

 
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National childcare charity welcomes new £50m Early Years Pupil Premium consultation
by David Bagley - Monday, 8 September 2014, 12:25 PM
 

National childcare charity National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) today welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's announcement of a consultation on the new £50m Early Years Pupil Premium, saying it was vital that the investment made for each child went to the frontline in nurseries to make a difference for disadvantaged children.

NDNA Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE said: "The new Early Years Pupil Premium is the right move to support disadvantaged three and four year olds and is great recognition of the impact that investing in early years provision, like nurseries, can make to children's futures. It is vital that all the money is passed to the setting attended by each child so that it can be used to make a real difference at the front line. We welcome government's recognition of the expertise of nurseries by giving them the freedom to decide how to use the money to help three and four year olds learn and develop.

Read the full press release at www.ndna.org.uk

 

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