Dear Colleagues, it’s time we finally took control.


Our Minister has done us a favour, although she may not have realised it. She has thrown down the gauntlet by challenging the sector, so now we need to take control of our own destiny. Her ill-informed and contradictory facts beg us to tell our story, so every individual – especially parents – is left with a clear understanding of what we as a sector want for the children in our care.

So here are the challenges and contradictions I strongly believe we need to address:

1: The Government wants more people in work (women in particular), only the Minister now says we are not fit for purpose – so how is this going to happen without the quality childcare these would-be-working mums require?

2: The Secretary of State for Education has addressed poor schools through a programme of Academies which are based on the premise of high quality, yet allow Academy Heads to employ unqualified teachers. Our Minister says we do not provide quality because we employ unqualified staff…

3: There is much confusion about how much is spent on Childcare. Figures range from £7 billion to £4.5 billion. The truth is no one knows, not even our mathematically minded Minister. However, £8 billion was misused in the Academies budget, which could be the very investment we need to ensure Early Years becomes a realistic option. Why is it apparently OK to waste this?

4: The Deputy Prime Minister is keen to use Early Education in good quality nurseries as a key policy driver for social mobility. He wants this to be rolled out through a programme for two-year-olds from disadvantaged areas. The Minister says that only nurseries judged good or outstanding by Ofsted can accept these children. In the meantime, Ofsted is now downgrading nurseries in poor areas – not because of poor education and care but for lack of processes which may not impact on the children. Where then will these children go?

5: Over the last ten years the sector has grown in size and confidence. The introduction of the EYFS went some way to helping agree a framework for improvement. In many cases this was achieved with the support of local authority advisory teams as critical friends. The Minister is keen to dismantle all the support services and just use Ofsted as the improvement agency. Sir Michael Wilshaw says Ofsted with not be an improvement agency, but an agency of improvement.

6: Starting First, EPPE and the OECD all agree that qualifications are only part of the determinants of quality: ratios also matter. Our Minister is keen to reduce ratios on some spurious mathematical formula indicating they raise the cost of childcare to parents.

7: Our Minister wants to change the process of registering childminders. She favours and is pursuing the Dutch model of Childminding Agencies. The Dutch have abandoned this model as too expensive and cumbersome. There is no appetite here either.

So, as a sector we need to explain this to the public. It’s time we cut off a little oxygen to our Minister and held the stage ourselves. We must be calm, grown-up and informed.

I suggest we make June 1st, Children’s Day, our day to  Take Over the Early Years Debate. We need to start working together across the UK to make our voices heard; to explain what we do, what quality means and why Early Years is not a political football but a serious matter – one led by serious people with a serious message.

What do you think? If you’re in, let me know in the comments below.

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  1. #1 by Adekunbi Champion on April 30, 2013 - 8:20 pm

    It is about time to let the government know talk is cheap and as professional we are bending back over to give the best to the children in our care. If Liz Truss is not say well done, as a fellow, I say a big WELL DONE and give yourself a pat on the back for a work well done! 😊

  2. #2 by Margaret O'Donnell on April 30, 2013 - 8:16 pm

    I’m here and will do what I can to help. I wrote to my MP who claims he is on our side and wrote to the Labour party and received no reply. I would like some sort of information leaflet that I can perhaps print off from the internet and hand out at toddler groups. I go to one every day. I can also hand them to childminders I know as a lot have no information at all as they are not getting it from their networks and are not on fb.

    • #3 by Simona Mckenzie on April 30, 2013 - 8:19 pm

      A leaflet is a brilliant idea!!
      childminders can distribute these at Stay&Play, Children’s Centres and at schools at pick up times handing them to parents as well

  3. #4 by psw260259 on April 30, 2013 - 7:53 am

    Hello All,

    I have now added a page to the One Voice site for the Reclaim Early Years campaign – at the moment this is not the official information source but just my way of helping spread the information.

    I will add as much information as possible about the campaign as it develops, as it will add to the impact of the wealth of information already on there about related to More Great Childcare

    http://togetherforquality.com/reclaim-early-years/

    • #5 by Jennifer McQuillan on May 1, 2013 - 11:44 am

      Thanks Penny! One Voice is a really helpful platform which brings together all that is going on in early years currently. It’s a minefield of information and the site is excellent in bringing together a variety of viewpoints and information about MGC, and now Reclaim Early Years campaign too,with June.

      • #6 by Simona Mckenzie on May 1, 2013 - 1:13 pm

        In addition to One Voice childminders are also joining the campaign in the Childminding Forum and Independent Childminders Focus Group…under the banner: United we stand!
        It is vital all cms are made aware and informed about this campaign wherever they are and by whatever means they access the information…would be good to spread to LAs too, all parents who use cms and at schools where we pick up!

  4. #7 by Kirsten Harrison on April 29, 2013 - 11:08 pm

    Cold anyone tell me whether Liz Truss has children of her own?
    When she commented on having ” friends with four children under five who cope perfectly well” does she realise that looking after your own children is a totally different kettle of fish to looking after minded children, whilst following he EYFS and Ofsted registration criteria?
    The government ought to make Liz Truss childmind four under five for a week and see how she and her home fare, and whether she is happy with her income at end of the week, after all the concern of how much parents earn, should also apply to US childminders, some of whom are working parents it’s as though we have no right to earn a decent wage…..
    Think the government ought to listen to,the people in our industry in our country not in other European countries.
    Arghhhhhhhhh
    I will do anything I can to help.

  5. #8 by Kerrie Brand on April 29, 2013 - 10:41 pm

    I work on the Isle of Man where ratios for two year olds is 1:8!!!! I have seen first hand the detrimental effect higher ratios can have on the quality of care practitioners are able to provide their children. I have a degree in Early Years education and 16 years experience but I only have two eyes, two ears and two hands. Working within these higher ratios is an impossible task. I know too well what it’s like to work within a 1:6 ratio. It was highly stressful both physically & emotionally and children lost the quality early experience they deserved. Elizabeth Truss must listen to those professions who know children, who love children and who won’t sleep knowing they are unable to provide their very, very best for all our little learners.

  6. #9 by Rachel Booth on April 29, 2013 - 8:55 pm

    I’m in

  7. #10 by Carol Bedingham on April 29, 2013 - 8:35 pm

    I’m in, we have to do something!!

  8. #11 by Charlotte Rankin, Research and Policy Assistant, PACEY on April 29, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    On behalf of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) I would like to offer support for this initiative. I wholeheartedly agree with June’s arguments and think more must be done to ensure there is a balanced discussion in the media. For too long it has been one sided and PACEY therefore welcomes this move to open up the debate on the proposed changes including ratios, pay and entry qualifications.

    June’s point about acting as calm, grown up, informed adults is key. It is vital to consult and listen to everyone affected by these changes; from parents and children, to the many kinds of childcare professionals and those in supporting professions. With such an important debate, there will always be different ideas and suggestions put forward. So we must work together to challenge assumptions and ensure everyone in the sector recognises the long term implications of the proposed changes.

  9. #12 by Erica Evans on April 29, 2013 - 3:32 pm

    We are all right behind (beside!) you June. I have raised the issues, including the 1 June date, with our local University and College Union (UCU). Our branch is raising this with the National UCU Education group. At a local level we will be working hard to raise awareness of this government’s attack on play, childhood and early years care.

  10. #13 by Claire Brunner on April 29, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    Absolutely in! We need to defend our children & our expertise here. I suspect ours is at first sight a disparate sector and therefore looks like an easy target – let’s demonstrate that we are neither of those things.

  11. #14 by Wendy Hartley (@wendyhartley3) on April 29, 2013 - 11:47 am

    with you on this, keep me informed ….I wrote to the MP’s in our area following the Ministers comments, still waiting for reply! – http://www.scribd.com/doc/138452512/Letter-to-Government-Re-Early-Years-Policy

    • #15 by Jacqui Smith on April 29, 2013 - 1:23 pm

      Hi Wendy, as eloquent as ever – great letter. Please keep in touch – Jacqui (ex NDNA). See you at the NDNA conference?

  12. #16 by Judith Twani on April 29, 2013 - 6:14 am

    I have just attended the Flourish Summit organised by the Save Childhood Movement and it was a generally accepted view that something has to happen in response to what has been said. We were encouraged to simply say “NO” to the demands and proposals. They also asked us to declare May 15th as National Children’s Day – see the website. http://www.nationalchildrensdayuk.com and encouraged everyone to do something to celebrate childhood on that day. I thought it would be quite amazing if all children that day spent the whole day outside in parks, woods, beaches, moors etc etc.
    Let us unite as one voice – consider that the new proposals are not only contravening article 31 but also articles 3 and 29.
    Now is the time…….

  13. #17 by Chrystel St.Ledger on April 29, 2013 - 12:37 am

    I’m in!

  14. #18 by Carol on April 28, 2013 - 11:10 pm

    It is so good to see everyone come together. I would be happy to help and will spread the word.

  15. #19 by Susie Glenister on April 28, 2013 - 10:56 pm

    It’s a date. I began my day by writing some musings on be political arena that early years finds itself in, and am happy to end it by joining a proper debate.

  16. #20 by Jane Slatter on behalf of The UKCMA on April 28, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    I am posting on behalf of The UK Childminding Association (UKCMA). We would like to pledge our full support and believe that recent debates have been allowed to cloud the real issues that need to be faced. The UKCMA encourage all childminders, no matter what association they are a part of, to unite in this quest to retain the control of the profession they have dedicated themselves to, acting in the interest of the children and families they currently provide services for.

    We have meetings scheduled with MPs who have requested the views of childminders to help them make their decision on which way to vote. We will be inviting all childminders no matter whether they are members of The UKCMA or other associations to provide us with their thoughts..

    Please just get in contact and let us know how we can help and get involved.

  17. #21 by Shirley Brooks on April 28, 2013 - 5:14 pm

    Brilliant! We cannot possibly allow this tosh to continue. We are a caring and professional group of people who have not had a voice but it seems like we are coming together for the sake of he children. I urge all the posters here to write to their MPs as a starting point and we can take it from there. Well done June!

  18. #22 by sonia51069 on April 28, 2013 - 8:58 am

    Hi June.

    As a committed childminder in a disadvantaged borough, the dismantling of the LA support has been a devastating blow for many childminders and other settings as some of the children we care for come from truly shocking backgrounds. These are the children who need the chance to be just children for at least a small part of the day. This is every child’s human right. They need all the support and love we can give them to at least give them a fighting chance of success in life. They cannot fight for this right but we can. We must help the government to understand. We have signed petitions, spoken to the media, written blogs and have on the whole been very dignified in our approach. You are right, however, that now is the time to go that little bit further. We need to act and I know that many of my colleagues would be wholeheartedly behind you too.

  19. #23 by Alena on April 27, 2013 - 2:05 pm

    Great work June! I’m definitely in – lets make them listen!

  20. #24 by Helen Perkins on April 26, 2013 - 9:50 pm

    There are many projects in the go, this is why we need a professional association – a single voice.

  21. #25 by Zoe on April 26, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Yes- I am in, whole heartedly. The EY sector is an easy and soft target to “bash” due to nature of of its workforce. It’s time that those more “unruly” amongst us galvanised the troops and stood up for what the majority of us believe in and practice- high quality care and education. For too long we have “cared” without recognition. We have been subjected to a very uneven playing field in respect of inspections and government support-financial and otherwise and because we “care” we have accepted our lot. Let’s pick up this gauntlet and really show how much we care.

    • #26 by Doreen on April 27, 2013 - 11:29 am

      I’m in!

  22. #27 by Jeanne Barczewska on April 26, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    June I am completely in agreement as you may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, Northampton University early years Facebook page and my own personal Facebook.
    I feel that things have gone too far and as a professional feel under valued and under mined. I am mostly concerned for all my current and previous students, local authority colleagues but of course my ultimate concern is for the children and their families both now and in the future.

    • #28 by Simona Mckenzie on April 26, 2013 - 6:57 pm

      The placards should also say clearly we will respect Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: the Right to play

  23. #29 by Judith Twani on April 26, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Well said June…
    I will be spreading this everywhere I can.

  24. #30 by laurachildcare on April 26, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    This is a very important view:

    “Play for children is as natural as walking, breathing…it is essential” http://bit.ly/11K847a

  25. #31 by June O'Sullivan on April 26, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    Guys

    Thank you for your support. Its simply amazing. We need to use this energy as constructively as possible. We need to get the support of parents. I originally talked about Reclaiming Early Years but I love the Oz version “Value Childcare We Help Raise your Children” on Children’s Day! the hash tag could be #valuing childcarers
    I have started a Linkedin Group to coordinate our action. Please use it with all your ideas. So far I think we all have banners on the day with “Value Childcare We Help Raise Your Children”
    Open for thoughts etc. the Group is called Reclaim Childcare.

    Brilliant we are a voice together.

    • #32 by Simona Mckenzie on April 26, 2013 - 4:51 pm

      I was wondering if this campaign should include our LAs? if we were to send them the information of the action planned on 1st June would they join us and help co-ordinate a ‘peaceful and dignified’ protest locally?
      Could we organise local gatherings on the day with parents and buggies in tow?

  26. #33 by Sarah on April 26, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Hello again June!

    Last night I was talking as an individual childminder… today I am pleased to inform you that the Childminding Forum is keen to get involved and promote your plans for 1st June as ‘Children’s Day’.

    A new Childminding Forum thread has been created so childminders can find out about your campaign and spread the word to their colleagues using social media and playground chats to let everyone know that 1st June will be a special day to let the Govt know what we think of their ‘More Great Childcare’ plan.

    http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/forum/campaigns-petitions/118095-new-campaign-against-more-great-childcare.html

    Please let us know when further plans are available as I am sure lots of members will be keen to offer support. Thank you.

    Sarah 🙂

  27. #34 by Derek Hayes on April 26, 2013 - 12:45 pm

    Thank you June that’s very helpful and concise. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Our Minister is undermining everything we hold dear and true and there’s nothing to back it up. So much for evidence based practice…. This latest nonsense about a more French approach has me baffled.

    We’re now defending ratios, the right to PLAY and the talents of childcarers! I find it all exhausting. Role on election day.

  28. #35 by Neil on April 26, 2013 - 10:12 am

    More profile in the national daily press is needed. Perhaps approach their editors – Mail, express, times, guardian, sun, mirror? Or the relevant section editors, offer a piece for free promoting UK early years provision, and exposing the flaws in Truss’ plans. That would have a good deal of influence, especially if there was some regularity to it. Influence the public who may not know enough to disagree with what government is saying. That would be my advice.

    Or, but this would be costly. Employ a PR/political lobby group. It’s worked for some… It’s time to turn the tide.

  29. #36 by Yemi Samuel on April 25, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    Thank you June, I think it’s about time someone speak out to let the Government know that it is we the front-liners that will suffer most. If the Government is allowed to go ahead with their plan, it might mean the downfall of Early Year Sector in England. You have my support June.

  30. #37 by Jacy on April 25, 2013 - 9:51 pm

    Let me know what we can do – have a Pacey Local meeting next week, and will let everyone know about this blog. Thank you

  31. #38 by Sue on April 25, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree. It is essential we stand up for our children now before this madness goes any further. Count me in

  32. #39 by Judith Milne Home on April 25, 2013 - 8:37 pm

    I fully support you. As a childminder I am self employed and work from my home. It is fantastic to feel that I am not a lone voice!

  33. #40 by Sarah Neville on April 25, 2013 - 7:16 pm

    Hi June, thank you for your excellent and well written blog. I know it echoes the concerns of thousands of childminders and other early years practitioners throughout the country.

    I have already presented a petition signed by over 33,000 concerned childminders, parents and early years practitioners to Ms Truss on behalf of Childminding Forum – http://www.keepratiosdown.co.uk – no response>

    I have written a detailed analysis of the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan which contains hundreds of negative comments from very worried childminders and others in early years – http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/mgc – and received a letter thanking me for my time and advising me to read ‘More Great Childcare’ for more information about future plans>

    Along with hundreds of other Childminding Forum members I have written to MPs local and national, printed and handed out campaign leaflets, discussed issues, shared concerns and done everything I can to stop ‘More Great Childcare’ in its tracks>

    I have written countless letters and emails, Tweets and Facebook posts, started a Twibbon campaign on Twitter – childminders reject agencies – and submitted articles wearing my ‘freelance early years writer’ hat lobbying against the Govt’s plan to magazines such as Nursery World, ChildCare, CYPNow, Home Childcarer and online press>

    I am also instrumental in setting up a new website for independent childminders to share advice, support and help which I hope will build into a ‘one stop shop’ for information about staying independent and successful as the months go by and we more fully understand the Govt’s agency plans – http://www.independentchildminders.co.uk>

    I am always looking for new ways to campaign against the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan because I believe, like many thousands of other childminders, that the plan is fundamentally flawed –

    Early years practitioners – experts in child development – in fact everyone I speak to on the subject – is in no doubt that the planned ratios changes will lead to lower outcomes for children>

    Childminders know that, without support in place, agencies will lead to thousands of established childminder businesses run by dedicated, well trained practitioners becoming rapidly unsustainable as agencies flood the country with new childminders – which they will have to do to remain sustainable themselves.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with your campaign 🙂

  34. #41 by Stephen Glen-Lee on April 25, 2013 - 6:51 pm

    June. If you had come to Argyll and heard this I know what you would have said…

    “Sack them!”

    These folk in the Westminster Government need to remember they work for you. There’s no excuse for that public display of ignorance. It’s a disgrace and she should be sacked. I’ll leave it with you. If anyone can do it you can.

  35. #42 by Quality 4 EarlyYears (@Quality4EY) on April 25, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    Well said June, we support you and have shared on Facebook & Twitter. We also have a newsletter due out so will make sure it is included and shared with our contacts

  36. #43 by Val Holland on April 25, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    Well done June, fully support you. We have a network meeting In Nottingham tomorrow so I will be sharing this blog and I am sure you will have the support of all the nurseries in Notts.

  37. #44 by Gill Haynes on April 25, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    I agree with your blog June – and am happy to help in any way I can. There are some very serious issues at stake here – and not just in terms of the arrogant dismantling of good quality provision which has been built on a firm evidence base, in cooperation with the sector. The whole issue of ‘consultation’ needs to be exposed; and questions asked in parliament about the responses to the deliberately un-coordinated consultations she has instigated about qualifications and (in passing) ratios; the early educator (dog’s breakfast) criteria; getting rid of local authorities’ support and training roles; and of course the complete lack of consultation about childminding agencies. There is also a question to be asked of the permanent secretary at the Department for Education, because ‘officials’ are now starting brief journalists inaccurately in defence of Ms Truss’ latest onslaught. So, count me in June – and let’s get some sanity back into the early years world. Gill Haynes

  38. #45 by Nina Smith on April 25, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    June
    Although i am not in Uk anymore i follow everything about what is going on with the early years as it is still my passion and always will be.You have once again put it into such great words what we all feel that have the oppertoinity to work with children.I am with you all the way and support it we all do such a great job everyday and this is such a importent part of a child life so let all stand up and be heard ……………………………

  39. #46 by Sue Martin on April 25, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    Hi June, I couldn’t agree more, how much longer are we going to let this madness take over our well run, childcare settings, our EYFS excellence and all that we have held dear and made good in the last 10 years. the minister(sadly one of my local MP’s) and Michael Gove are destroyers of good education and early years development. It is no surprise that none of their suggestions makes any sense, there is no logic, or listening to professional knowledge that can be put in their way as they wish to progress in their political careers. But the immense sadness is the children who will be at the receiving end. I think that is why we all work in this sector and why there is so much passion. On other countries, there is lots of good practise, I see no reason why France is now being used and I also see no evidence that anyone would want to see their 2 yr old sitting in a rowm listening ardently to the teacher for long periods of the day. If that is so, there are lots of photos of children in the early 1900’s we could use! Happy to join the band for June1st. Rev’d Sue Martin

  40. #47 by Geoff on April 25, 2013 - 11:26 am


    If it can happen in Australia, it can happen here.

  41. #48 by Ken McArthur (@PollysNursery) on April 25, 2013 - 10:52 am

    I’m not against change or reforms in all areas or any area of early years care and education but I am against change either for change sake, political dogma or as a way of improving one’s own capital for political advancement. Nor am I against reforms but only if they are based on independent UK based evidence research and not some ‘cherry-picked’ elements from models from other countries which are unsubstantiated or necessarily better for children that our own current practices.
    I am fearful of Elizabeth Truss, I don’t know why, she is either going to prove to be the new Margret Thatcher or a Barbara Castle (and if you don’t know the second lady, I rest my case), but to achieve one or the other she potentially will have a devastating impact that will resound for years on early years and the professional reputations of some of its finest practitioners and settings.

  42. #49 by Jane amajor on April 25, 2013 - 10:48 am

    I am definitely in! On behalf of my colleagues in Gosforth Independent Network Childminders in Newcastle – they are in as well. I was working ona press release for Children’s Day in an attempt to fight back. As the whole issue is a political hot potato, it might just be that one of the newspapers would pick it up. In it I was planning to issue various challenges to Ms Truss but include important information for readers (parents). The more we work together, the stronger we will be

  43. #50 by susan churchill on April 25, 2013 - 10:23 am

    Well said, I support you and have shared!

  44. #51 by Julie on April 25, 2013 - 9:53 am

    am inspired and motivated to take some action, thankyou for taking the helm, both truss and Gove need to rethink their policies and it is only us that can make that happen. There is a petition addressing Gove’s review of Primary curriculum to sign here http://www.thinking-about-education.co.uk/parents-petition Maybe we need, as a start one for early years too. thinking about more physical/visual actions too

  45. #52 by Jacqui Smith on April 25, 2013 - 9:48 am

    What sense you talk June! We constantly hear about how wonderful our counterparts in Europe are and what do they do – send their children into formal schooling much later! What are we doing – pushing our young children into a school setting earlier and earlier – where shorter holidays and longer days is now favoured by Mr. Gove… when will they see sense?

  46. #53 by Anne Gladstone on April 25, 2013 - 9:39 am

    I’m in! Great blog – totally agree we need to take control and trust our professionalism.

  47. #54 by Majella McElwee on April 25, 2013 - 7:30 am

    I’m in as are all our staff. We must raise our voices and be heard , we have the expertise, commitment and wisdom in working with children. We are professional after all .

    • #55 by Simona Mckenzie on April 25, 2013 - 7:48 am

      I posted the information on the Independent Childminders Focus Group http://independentchildminders.activeboard.com/ All cms free to join the forum and the action
      also spreading the news to other LAs to inform cms

    • #56 by fatima giwa on April 25, 2013 - 10:52 am

      Thank you very much for your insight, I am totally behind you

  48. #57 by Alison Wells on April 25, 2013 - 7:27 am

    Excellent writing. Supporting you whole heartedly. Enough is definitely enough.

  49. #58 by Carol Ann on April 25, 2013 - 7:20 am

    I feel that most professional in early years are exasperated by the clap trap coming from our ministers. The sector has strived hard over the last few years to be recognised for what we do well. June, very eloquently put – you have put into words a lot of E.Y.. professionals thoughts. Childminder agencies – how is the government going ensure the high standards of Safeguarding with the agency model? I also fell sure that childminders fees will be drive upwards as they will have to pay an agency fee so will need to pass this on to parents. Higher ratios will NOT reduce childcare costs to parents’ providers fix costs and overhead remain the same and are subject to increase, not to mentione the safety aspect. A march on Downing Street on the 1st June could be a start to wake up ministers and for them to hear from the people who are on the front line!

  50. #59 by psw260259 on April 25, 2013 - 6:26 am

    Great to see so much support already 🙂

    June – I have added link to here on the One Voice FB group and I see some of the most passionate objectors to Truss have already commented here – however more names are listed on the FB page.

    I have also added link to the One Voice website on the opening page with the words Very Important in bold – so I hope it will help raise awareness of your brilliant idea.

  51. #60 by Linda Baston-Pitt on April 24, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    Over the last 20 years of working in the sector despite the challenges, changes of direction etc. I have always believed that as the voice and strength of the sector grew we would eventually be listened to and that government might actually `do the right thing` for children, families and sector as a whole in improving lives. In one fell swoop I’m stunned that one person has been able to wreak so much havoc – pushing us backwards at such a speed with each announcement that we are left spinning. However, I do feel that 20 year on we are no longer the meek and silent few but an equal force to be reckoned with.
    I am totally in! June the 1st gives us a great opportunity to coordinate a national response I’m happy to be involved in any way that will help to get our message across.

  52. #61 by Amy Boyd on April 24, 2013 - 10:50 pm

    I fully support this!

  53. #62 by jackienoakes on April 24, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    I’m a registered childminder and I am extremely concerned about the future of early years. Children will suffer if these changes happen as will parents.

  54. #63 by roovruth on April 24, 2013 - 10:35 pm

    I will do all I possibly can to support this idea. I’m a Registered Childminder. I think people power and trying to get parents of children in Childcare on board to also support the effort. I do not want to just sit back and let the ‘bulldozing’ of ridiculous ideas become reality, it will be a sad day if that happens.

    Kind regards

    Ruth Denton BA (Hons), EYPS
    Auntie Ruth’s Childminding

  55. #64 by gaynorpates on April 24, 2013 - 10:23 pm

    Inspriring stuff June! I’m happy to support in any way I can.

  56. #65 by Sian Bath from Tongham Daycare Ltd on April 24, 2013 - 10:18 pm

    Laura has taken the words from my mouth. As a joint manager of 2 early years settings I agree we need a collective voice that can inform the public, press and most of all parents especially of future children how damaging and misguided the Ministers words are. We do need to take a stand and do so in a professional manor!

    I’m up for a rally, press release anything just let me know what we all can do to support this.

  57. #66 by Julie Lightley on April 24, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    I’m in. 100%. And anyone I can pull along with me. Great piece.

  58. #67 by Sarah Steel on April 24, 2013 - 10:10 pm

    Hi June, I think you have succinctly summed up the challenges facing the sector at this time. The messages coming out of Government and OFSTED over recent weeks and months seem contradictory and are thoroughly frustrating for anyone who is actually trying to provide a quality offering for young children and families. I will most definitely be a part of this, we have to have a united voice pointing out the reality.

  59. #68 by Kathy Brodie on April 24, 2013 - 9:56 pm

    June, it is a great idea to make June 1st Take Over Day.

    Just let me know what I can do!

  60. #69 by Mary Wynne Finch on April 24, 2013 - 9:54 pm

    Thank you June. It’s great to see some creative thinking around the worrying developments in the Early Years’ Sector – so let’s be courageous and stand together in collaboration to give children and their families the constant, quality, caring childcare they deserve.

  61. #70 by Catherine johnston on April 24, 2013 - 9:44 pm

    Is this just for England and Wales June or can we in Scotland join in. If so, count me in.

  62. #71 by Jennifer on April 24, 2013 - 9:32 pm

    100% behind this initiative June!

  63. #72 by Pip on April 24, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    Hear Hear and I full support any action. People like Penny and the One Voice site are doing extremely well but we need to get word out there to the heart of the matter – the parents.

  64. #73 by Lisa Fricker on April 24, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    I am with you and I know a lot of Southampton Childminders who would be too. I am also the pacey local facilitator for Southampton so please let me know what I can do to help.

  65. #74 by Leoarna on April 24, 2013 - 9:11 pm

    I’m in – what do you need me to do? You’ve said everything I’ve been thinking and ranting about, brilliantly. Keep me posted, will sign up to rss feed so I get your notifications and you have my email address. Thanks.

  66. #75 by psw260259 on April 24, 2013 - 8:52 pm

    I am sure you know June, that I will support this plan of action and do whatever I can. As you will be aware I started the very first petition against the changes to ratios as part of my campaign against our ministers plans, but I have to say with so many other petitions now up and running – this route has lost its way as people are confused as to why so many petitions, and in any case despite the huge combined numbers across the petition the minister is not listening.

    I have also set up One Voice http://www.togetherforquality.com to provide as much information as I can about all things connected to More Great Childcare. However I admit that as one person (and one who works over 72 hrs per week directly with the children) there is only so much that I can do – and as the minster does not respond to me, has blocked me from her Twitter account, and when all is said as the minsters has such a low opinion of childminders – she is unlikely to consider my views valid.

    Therefore June, if One Voice can be used in anyway to help with this action plan please let me know.

  67. #76 by Linda Brackner on April 24, 2013 - 8:45 pm

    Great quote Laura…I have been muted by the contridictions over the past few weeks through sheer exasperation! 😦

    Please keep me posted June…:-)

  68. #77 by Annette Dacosta on April 24, 2013 - 8:35 pm

    I will do everything I can to support Registered Childminders and Early Years provision but most of all I will staunchly defend children, their care, their learning & development and their futures. Count me in!

  69. #78 by Sam Loughran on April 24, 2013 - 8:33 pm

    Very interested to know more.
    Enough is enough.

  70. #79 by Jennie johnson on April 24, 2013 - 8:21 pm

    June, we do need to cut off her oxygen, she is using Childcare to make a noise for herself and further her political career. Showing she has the “balls” to take on the sector….she doesn’t care deeply about children, if she did, she would listen and change direction….up for supporting ur idea xxx Jennie Johnson…kids allowed xxx

  71. #80 by Sue Cowley on April 24, 2013 - 8:08 pm

    I totally agree with you. As a sector we need to stand up for what we believe in. The voices in the school sector are shouting loud and clear (although I suspect the people who control things aren’t listening). We should as well. You might be interested to read my blog post on Truss’s ‘flexible working arrangements’ and ‘chaotic settings’.
    http://suecowley.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/striking-a-balance-what-do-preschoolers-do-all-day/

  72. #81 by Gill mason on April 24, 2013 - 8:06 pm

    June I applaud you for an excellent summary. It’s time to take action.
    Gill Mason

  73. #82 by Simona Mckenzie on April 24, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    I would like to support this action.
    As a registered childminder I am concerned at the higher ratio as well as the introduction of agencies despite the reassurance cms can remain ‘independent’ if they wish.

    The DfE is engaging with those developing the agency model but has left cms who wish to remain independent dangling in uncertainty as to how we can operate under the new freedom of ‘independence’ with the threat of no LA support and training and the additional worry of how much our inspection will cost.

    I strongly believe agencies will not lower costs to parents but will be a huge saving exercise for Ofsted.
    They will lower quality, parents will worry at choosing a cm not registered or inspected by Ofsted, will have damaging safeguarding issues and finally create many tiers of cms.

    I have called for positive engagement with the Minister as a way forward but I am not hopeful this will happen.
    We all strive for higher quality while recognising the need for more improvement.
    It would have been more positive to recognise our achievements while encouraging those who need to raise their quality to do so but we are treated in an arrogant manner and threatened with all sorts of actions that lack basic respect for what we are and do.

    I have positively supported cms by setting up the Independent Childminders Focus Group (ICFG) to keep colleagues informed and positive, this is good but not enough any more and action is now required.

    I will help in any way I can to spread the word and engage all cms in any action on the day.

  74. #83 by cat on April 24, 2013 - 7:56 pm

    I fully support this in whatever form I can offer!

  75. #84 by laurachildcare on April 24, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Well said, June!

    I have to keep on quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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