Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns has been talking about the commission into affordable childcare she's chairing for the Welsh Conservatives. Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies announced her appointment at the party's conference in Swansea.
Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies will use his conference speech in Swansea to announce that he's setting up a commission to look at ways of providing what he calls 'proper, affordable childcare.' He's appointed Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns to head the commission. He'll tell delegates:
I want parents across Wales to look at the Welsh Conservatives and see a party that “gets it” and is doing something about it.
I want young people across Wales to look at the Welsh Conservatives as a party leading the way for aspiration.
So today, I’m pleased to announce that my Shadow Minister for Education, Angela Burns has set up a Commission to look at how we can provide proper, affordable childcare.
– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition
Following on from some of the great work already undertaken by the UK Government in this field, Angela will work with professionals from representational organisations and business to see how we can help parents across Wales to be as aspirational for themselves as they are for their children.
Engagement in real policy development is the only way we can sell ourselves as the party that ‘gets it.'
For many families, one of the larger monthly costs is child care. And now one nursery owner from Cardiff is calling for a change in regulations to make the care more affordable. But would fewer regulations also mean lower standards? Nicola Hendy reports
A Barry nursery owner is calling for childcare staffing regulations to be relaxed.
Abeer Bafiqih runs the Daisy Day Nursery in Barry and Cardiff looking after children up five years old. She believes regulations around staffing levels could be relaxed.
She said: "We face the same costs as all other business such as rates; our salaries are probably higher because we are so labour intensive, because of the legislation around ratios.
"If we had maybe more children per adult maybe in the older age ranges, that would lower our salaries costs and that in turn would impact on the fees we charge."
Strict guidelines govern the way a childcare business is run and the number of staff needed. For children under 2 there has to be 1 adult to 3 children, youngsters between 2 and 3 need 1 adult to 4 children and children aged 3 to 8 need one adult to every 8 children.
The Children's Commission is currently looking at relaxing the restrictions on the ratio of staff to children in England, but the Welsh Government say they have no plans for change.
Gill Rutter, of the Daycare Trust said: "We think that changing the ratios risks compromising safety. It also may not save parents any money in the long term. Why should nurseries, why should child minders pass on those savings to parents if they change the ratios."
For many parents bringing their children to nursery is all part of the daily routine, but child care doesn't come cheap. Nicola Hendy reports
Gill Rutter from the Daycare Trust says in the long term the government needs to look at reforming childcare regulations to lower the costs and ensure it is not a barrier to parents going to work.
Abeer Bafaqih, owner of Daisy Day Nursery in Barry and Cardiff, believes there is scope for childcare regulations to be relaxed for older children to help keep costs down.