Nursery staff changes to cut fees

Better-qualified nurseries and childminders will be allowed to look after more children in an attempt by the Government to cut the cost of childcare for parents. Critics warn changes to the staff to kids ratios could compromise quality and safety.

Childcare ratios in England

These are the current staff-to-child ratios permitted for nurseries and childminders in England:

  • Under one and one-year-olds - 1:3
  • Two-year-olds - 1:4
  • Three-year-olds and above - 1:8 or 1:13 (teacher-led)

Under government proposals, these will be the new ratios:

  • Under one and one-year-olds 1:4
  • Two-year-olds - 1:6
  • Three-year-olds and above - 1:8 or 1:13 (teacher-led)

Labour: 'Not convinced' childcare plans will reduce costs

A major shake up of Britain's childcare system will be announced today, reforms include increasing the number of children that carers in nurseries can look after, and improving qualifications.

Speaking to ITV Daybreak, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said: "It's right that something has to be done, but I'm not convinced this change will even result in a reduction in costs for parents."

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Labour: Raising nursery ratios threatens child safety

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg says the plan to increase adult-child ratios at nurseries, where staff reach new qualification standards, threaten child safety and would not reduce costs.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg. Credit: Press Assocation

"This Government has created an affordability crisis by cutting support and pushing up costs for parents. Watering down quality is the wrong way to try to deal with the problem they've caused," he said.

"Experts are warning this could threaten child safety and won't reduce costs. Parents will be worried.

"With a £1,700 toddler tax for families with two children, and 401 fewer children's centres, parents are being locked into inflation-busting cost rises while the quality of childcare is undermined."

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Nursery ratios raised in coalition bid to cut childcare bill

Nurseries and childminders will be allowed to look after more children as part of coalition efforts to cut childcare costs.

Education minister Liz Truss will announce today that the ratio of adult to children will be relaxed where the carers' qualifications meet new standards.

Education minister Liz Truss will announce the changes to childcare today. Credit: ITV News

Those staff deemed qualified enough will be able to take charge of six two-year-olds rather than four while the ratio for under-ones will go up from three to four.

The changes, which have been criticised as lowering standards, will be brought in alongside reforms that will see higher qualifications required of those caring for pre-schoolers.

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