Editor's view - It's hard to have your say on More Great Childcare

You could almost hear the collective cheer from the early years sector that went up when Professor Cathy Nutbrown finally unleashed her disparaging response to the Government proposals in 'More Great Childcare'.

These were supposedly based on Professor Nutbrown's review of early education and childcare qualifications, 'Foundations for Quality', and so her voice joining the protests over many aspects of the plans should carry particular weight.

Whether it will remains to be seen. A pattern seems to be emerging of eminent sector representatives being asked to produce reports or give their views, only for these to be largely ignored.

Professor Nutbrown writes of her disappointment that 'most of my recommendations had, in effect, been rejected'. Meanwhile, the DfE-commissioned work from Professor Helen Penn about comparative childcare costs looks as though it will never see the light of day. And the DfE Co-Production group of key organisations has had no recent meetings despite the ramifications of the 'More Great Childcare' plans.

The president and vice-presidents of Early Education, writing on Nursery World's website and in this issue of the magazine, have raised many questions about government proposals, as have many others throughout the sector.

However, one problem that they highlight is that the only official means to criticise the plans is through one of the consultations - yet none of these encompasses the whole of 'More Great Childcare'. You can have your say on what qualifications should be required to relax ratios (not whether this is desirable at all), on the criteria for the new Level 3 courses, and on the Early Years Teacher criteria.

This should not stop people responding, but it is an unsatisfactory process.

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