PLEASE NOTE THIS SITE IS CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED
Hello and Welcome to the One Voice site,
History of One Voice
This site was originally set up by Penny Webb, a registered childminder from Worcestershire who was very concerned about the proposals within the ‘More Great Childcare’ document, and in particular;
- The proposed increase in ratio’s in Early Years settings, which would have meant each adult looking after more children
- The proposal to introduce Childminding Agencies
These concerns led Penny to set up a petition to enable people to voice their concerns and to join together in signing a petition, and to setting up this site to provide a platform to bring together all those who are concerned about the Government’s plans for early years setting as described in the document ‘More Great Childcare’, and who want to speak with One Voice.
Success on Ratio’s As well as the original petition, others, including the Pre school Learning Alliance and The Childminding Forum, set up other petitions, and well over 80,000 people in total signed these petitions, giving the Government a very clear message.
On 6th June 2013 we were told that the government was going to scrap its plans to increase ratios in Early Years Settings, and indeed they did do this.
Although delighted with this news – the campaign against the other proposals within More Great Childcare – and in particular Childminding Agencies, the new early years qualifications, the role of the Local Authorities, 2 year olds in school and the reduced emphasis on play continues.
As a result Penny set up a new petition on the same day as she closed the ratio petition
Stop, Listen, Consult Petition
Link to new petition calling to scrap More Great Childcare
However, it appears that the Government are not listening to the concerns being expressed and are continuing to implement their proposals as follows;
- Cuts to Local Authority budget, meaning that support for early years settings and schools is reduced in many areas
- Piloting Childminding Agencies which WILL be implemented from September 2014
- Allowing schools to provide places for two year olds
- Changing the inspection focus for Ofsted inspections – and downgrading settings as a result
- Putting the emphasis on more formal education and less emphasis on play
It appears that the youngest children in our society are being used as political pawns, and parents are being pressured into putting their children into childcare or school at a younger and younger age, and for longer and longer hours – because working parents and in particular mothers are seen as essential for economic reasons.
There is a growing concern about what is happening to childhood and to parents rights to decide about their child’s early years. More campaigns are being set up, and in particular the Too Much, Too Soon campaign which is an initiative of the Save Childhood Movement, Early Education Advisory Group, of which Penny is a member.
In addition concerns are now spreading beyond early years and colleagues within the Primary Education sector are campaigning against Government proposals. Penny is now connecting with primary colleagues through the Charter for Primary Education and is a member of the steering group
Click for link to CHARTER FOR PRIMARY EDUCATION
As a result of the change in focus for ONE VOICE, all the pages and post related to the the ratio campaign have been moved so that there are grouped together.
There are sections for the following campaigns
- Childminding Agencies
- Too Much, Too Soon
Early Education have set up a campaign which is called EYpledge LINK to EARLY EDUCATION
Children and Families Bill
Despite campaigning and objections to childminding agencies from many individuals and organisation, the Children and Families Bill gained Royal Assent, therefore it will be legal from September 2014, for childminding agencies to be set up, and for childminders to registered and be inspected through a childminding agency, rather than directly through Ofsted.
Response to the Regulation of Childcare Consultation
Despite many disagreeing with Government proposals within the consultation document, the Government have decided that the will implement most of their proposals
Clearly, campaigning against childminding agencies can now not have any impact as there are now legally possible from September 2014. Likewise cuts to Local Authority and budgets are taking place, changes to regulations, including the Early Years Foundation Stage are going to be implemented from September 2014.
And so, the purpose of this site need to change and move forward – because although the Government has not listened to the Early Years sector and are pushing ahead to implement policy that is not based on research, knowledge or understanding of young children, or of the early years sector – there is very good reason to continue challenging the Government on its policies - the reason being THE CHILDREN OF THIS COUNTRY.
And so, as the title of this site suggests the aim is that we continue to work TOGETHER FOR QUALITY, to ensure the voices of the early years sector, parents and children are heard as ONE VOICE.
Every child deserves to be able to access the highest quality care and education, as appropriate to that child’s needs and his or her parents wishes – so at home, with a childminder, in a playgroup, in a pre school, in a day nursery, in a before or after school club, in a holiday club, in a school reception class.
Government agenda’s of getting parents into work, reducing Government budgets, and applying ‘one size fits all’ policy, procedure and provision are not acceptable and should be challenged.
The intention behind the site is that as much information as possible will be added, mainly via links back to the original source, to protect copyright but also to enable readers to access further information from those sites.
However it should be noted that this site is maintained by Penny in her spare time, there is not a team, of people or a admin, and so at times there maybe a delay in adding new information. Therefore if anyone has any links that they want to be added to One Voice, this can be done by emailing the information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, if anyone who is campaigning on these same or related issues, and would like their own page on One Voice, this can be done free of charge if the text about their organisation is submitted for approval to email@example.com
The One Voice Logo has been provided by Jennifer McQuillan, free of charge, to support the campaign.