Editor’s view - Summer stock-taking

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It is August, and traditionally a time when you get a chance to tidy the shelves, sort out the filing and take stock of your work before the autumn frenzy descends.

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Liz Roberts

Chris Roblett, director of childcare and operations at Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries (and Nursery World’s Operations Manager of the Year 2016) gives us an insight into his summer tasks, planned to make sure the company is as ready as it can be to meet change and offer the best service possible (‘Time out’, pages 30-31).

And this summer, the need to plan and be well-organised has extra impetus from the forthcoming implementation of the 30 hours funded childcare in only a few weeks’ time.

Chris’s impressive approach and clear-headed organisation could perhaps have been very useful when setting up the Childcare Service website, which has been proving a major stumbling block to a smooth pathway for parents accessing 30 hours and Tax-Free Childcare.

Nursery World was first to highlight the technical problems plaguing the Childcare Service website run by HMRC. This has been picked up since by national media, and now Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, is demanding answers about its performance (see our story here).

Compared to the funding and sufficiency challenges in delivering the 30 hours that are facing the early years sector, the Childcare Services website problems may not seem terribly significant.

Nonetheless, the delays and glitches are very frustrating all round, and this is one bit of summer housekeeping that needs to be tackled before it is too late.

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