Articles 926 out of 1356 | Showing 1 records/page

Labour to call Commons vote on controversial childcare ratio proposals

Article By: Laura McCardle, News Editor

Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, has revealed Labour's plans to call a vote in the House of Commons over controversial plans to change childcare ratios.

Stephen Twigg, shadow education secretary

The party is lobbying against the Government's plans to increase the number of children nursery workers can care for.

Yesterday Mr Twigg labelled the reforms as an "example of chaos and incompetence at the heart of Government policy making" when asked an urgent question in the House of Commons.

Shortly after he revealed Labour's plans to table an amendment to the Children and Families Bill at the Report Stage, which is due to begin shortly.

Mr Twigg said: " David Cameron and Nick Clegg are creating chaos and confusion on childcare.

"Nobody supports the plans to weaken childcare standards. Expert academics have told the Government that these changes would risk child safety and will not reduce costs to parents.

"And it's not just the experts of course. As many parents will tell you, young children are demanding and they need lots of attention, so while a childminder can have the best qualifications, they still only have one pair of hands.

"Labour have been campaigning on this issue for months, warning that the changes would risk the quality of care and even child safety. "David Cameron is presiding over a crisis in childcare. Tax credits have been cut by £1,560 and there are 401 fewer Sure Start centres than in 2010.

"The Government is doing nothing to help hard working families with the cost of childcare."

Mr Twigg's announcement came as the Pre-School Learning Alliance challenged Elizabeth Truss, the education and childcare minister pushing the reforms, about the proposals.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-School Learning Alliance

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the organisation, said: "We are calling on the Government to abandon this fool hardy initiative, which is almost universally opposed by parents, practitioners and the Government's own advisers, including some of the country's leading early years academics.

"The minister is simply not listening. Thousands of parents, early years experts and practitioners have registered their opposition to these proposals, yet it would appear that more than 85,000 people - including over 11,500 parents who have signed the Alliance's official e-petition - are wrong and one minister is right. These proposals have no credibility whatsoever."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also cast doubt over the plans, telling colleagues he "remains to be persuaded".


Sort : Go