News - Analysis

Lib Dem leader backs 'lemonade' nurseries' campaign for funds

Angeline Albert (08-May-17)

The Champagne Nurseries Lemonade Funding Group, which is calling for the Government to stop referring to the 30 hours offer as ‘free’ childcare, has won the backing of Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. The campaign.....

MPs urge Government to investigate 'potentially harmful' impact of testing four-year-olds

Sue Learner (03-May-17)

MPs have called on the Government to conduct a ‘thorough evaluation of potentially harmful consequences’ of introducing testing for four-year-olds. The Department for Education wants to ditch SATs for seven-year-olds.....

Some 50,000 children will not get a 'free' nursery place

Angeline Albert (18-Apr-17)

Up to 50,000 children could miss out this September on a ‘free’ (30 hour a week) childcare place because some nurseries won't offer it. When it comes to providing ‘free’ childcare, as promised by the Government,.....

Extra £50m funding for 30 hour childcare offer criticised as a 'drip feed approach'

Michaela Mildenhall (11-Apr-17)

Early years minister Caroline Dinenage has announced plans for a £50m capital grants fund to help deliver the 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare being brought in this September. However Neil Leitch, chief executive of Pre-School Learning.....

Nursery staff cleared of child cruelty

Sue Learner (10-Apr-17)

A nursery owner, her deputy and a nursery practitioner have all been cleared of charges of child cruelty at a nursery in Port Talbot, Wales. Katie Davies, 32, of King Street, Port Talbot, who owned Bright.....

Busy Bees acquires Treetops Nurseries for £93m

Melissa McAlees (30-Mar-17)

The UK’s largest nursery group, Busy Bees Nurseries Ltd has announced an agreement to acquire Treetops Nurseries, the UK's fourth largest childcare provider, in a £93m deal. Treetops Nurseries, which has a portfolio.....

MP recalls rush to find son as London's terror attack puts Parliament's nursery in lockdown

Angeline Albert (23-Mar-17)

Babies and toddlers remained trapped in the House of Commons nursery, hours after a terrorist attack in London led to the death of four people and left 29 others needing hospital treatment. The nursery and.....

Nurseries told 'We're coming to kill you all'

Angeline Albert (21-Mar-17)

Nurseries across the West Midlands went into emergency mode after being threatened with guns by a woman who said she’d be arriving to kill all the children and staff. Staff at nine nurseries and schools.....

Nicola Sturgeon's £50m promise gives Scotland's private nursery staff a pay rise

Angeline Albert (20-Mar-17)

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced she’ll give £50m to ensure all staff in private nurseries are paid the Living Wage to help deliver her Government’s doubling of free childcare hours by 2020. Ms.....

Spring Budget 2017: Nurseries criticise 'lost opportunity' to mention early years funding

Melissa McAlees, News Editor (08-Mar-17)

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced in his Spring Budget speech that two million households will be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare by the end of the year, saving families up to £2,000 annually. It was.....

30-hours 'free' childcare is 'economic suicide' says nursery owner

Melissa McAlees (08-Mar-17)

A York nursery owner, who has warned of a 'looming crisis' due to Government underfunding of 'free' childcare places, has taken her concerns to Westminster. Helen Gration, founder of Yorkshire Montessori.....

Nurseries 'ecstatic' as minister announces GCSE U-turn

Angeline Albert, News Editor (03-Mar-17)

Nurseries are breathing 'a huge sigh of relief' after being told by the childcare minister that staff with Functional Skills can go on to become Level 3 early years practitioners. Functional Skills are to.....

Government reveals 10,000 fewer early years providers plan to deliver 30-hour childcare offer

Melissa McAlees, News Editor (23-Feb-17)

The Government has revealed that around 10,000 fewer early years providers plan to deliver the 30-hour childcare offer for three- and four-year-olds, than the number delivering the current 15-hour free entitlement. The.....

Nursery campaign group reports DfE to competition authority over 'price-fixing'

Sue Learner, Editor (20-Feb-17)

The campaign group 'Champagne Nurseries on Lemonade Funding' has lodged a formal complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority about the Government's 'price-fixing' of the childcare market. It claims.....

Charity disputes research which claims qualified nursery teachers have 'tiny effect' on children's learning

Sue Learner, Editor (17-Feb-17)

Save the Children has disputed research which found nurseries with a qualified nursery teacher have only a “tiny effect” on children’s attainment. Earlier this week, researchers from the Centre for Economic.....

Over half of English councils don't know if eligible parents will be able to access 30 hours free childcare

Angeline Albert, News Editor (08-Feb-17)

More than half of England’s councils (54 per cent) remain clueless about whether all eligible parents of three- and four-year-olds will get the ‘30 hours’ free childcare from this September, as promised by the Government. Major.....

Labour MP expresses concern over closure of more than 370 Sure Start children's centres

Charley Walker, News Editor (03-Feb-17)

A total of 377 Sure Start children’s centres have closed since 2010, according to recent parliamentary answers. Information obtained by Labour MP Dan Jarvis revealed that 64 Sure Start centres closed in 2016.....

Early years experts up in arms over proposed controversial tests for five-year-olds

Charley Walker, News Editor (01-Feb-17)

Children in Britain may be ‘guinea pigs’ for controversial new testing for five-year-olds, which has been rejected by other European countries. The possible new tests were disclosed in an ‘expression of interest’.....

More councils join early drive to deliver 30-hour free childcare offer

Melissa McAlees, News Editor (27-Jan-17)

Four new local authority areas will be trialling the Government’s 30-hour free childcare offer, ahead of the national roll-out in September. Dorset, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire and Tower Hamlets will.....

'Capacity crisis': 30-hour free childcare scheme faces shortage of places

Melissa McAlees, News Editor (20-Jan-17)

Tens of thousands of parents could miss out on the 30-hour funded childcare entitlement as the Government underestimates the take-up of the offer by more than 100,000 places, according to new research. Early.....