Editor's view - Red tape removal

There's no doubt that the raft of reforms announced as part of the Government's response to the 'Regulation of Childcare' consultation are a sincere attempt to make childcare more affordable and accessible.

What they are very unlikely to do, however, is to raise quality. In fact, much of what is planned could have a detrimental effect.

Where to start in analysing it all? The removal of staffing and qualification requirements for out-of-school care sets alarm bells ringing. The justification is that schools shouldn't have to provide different staffing after school to that in lesson time. But a class of 30 led by a trained teacher, engaged in the curriculum, probably sitting down, is a totally different proposition to 30 children letting off steam after school in a wide range of active pursuits.

And asking all schools to open from 8am to 6pm is fine in theory, but as Gavin Kelly pointed out, at the Resolution Foundation event where Liz Truss aired the proposals, we have been here before with the extended schools programme in 2005. Many schools were extremely reluctant to take part, basically putting their fingers in their ears until the scheme went away for lack of funding.

The raising of the limit of informal care sessions from two to three hours before registration is required could also have worrying implications for quality and safety. Along with the prospect of cut-price after-school care in schools, it's a double blow to childminders' business.

There's much more. But finally, for the moment, the proposed revision of the Early Years Foundation Stage for September 2014 to incorporate this deregulation has almost gone unnoticed. We don't know yet what the scale of change for the EYFS will be!

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