PM wants to relax ratios to cut childcare costs

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed he wants to relax safety rules in an attempt to cut the rising cost of childcare as record inflation and the cost of living crisis continues to worsen.

Current requirements set out the correct staff to child ratios at 1:3 in groups of children two years or younger, and 1:4 for children two years an over.

Responding to the ideas, Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: “The Prime Minister suggesting that the best way to help families with childcare costs is to tinker with ratios is short-sighted and will not achieve the desired outcome. It shows a lack of understanding of how the early years sector works in this country.

“Providing a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment is the main focus for all early years providers and many will be worried about these proposed changes. We risk putting additional pressure on an overworked workforce while undermining efforts to give children the best start in life.

“For years the Government have underfunded childcare places. They are the biggest customer for nurseries so when they do not pay their way, parents and providers foot the bill. Around 95% of nurseries tell us that the Government’s funding does not cover their costs and as a result 85% are operating at a loss or just breaking even.

“We want to see a Government committed to levelling-up opportunities for all children by investing in their early years where we know it makes the biggest impact for their life chances. Instead we seem to be talking about a race to the bottom that won’t help children or families but will worsen the workforce crisis we have in early years.”

  • England
  • Boris Johnson
  • Ratios

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