Seminar Two

Childcare Market Challenges for Parents and Providers

The second ICMEC seminar in the 8th series took place on Thursday 30 April 2015 at Knowledge Dock, part of UEL's Docklands Campus.

Two 2014 reports dealing with parents' and providers' experiences within the English childcare market generated significant controversy and debate within and beyond the sector. At this ICMEC seminar, the reports' authors explored their key messages and examine the public response these reports received. Both reports can be easily located online.

Kayley Hignell and Sarah Pope, both senior policy researchers at Citizens Advice, discussed The practicalities of childcare: an overlooked part of the puzzle? which explored barriers faced by parents across England when securing a place for their young child in centre-based provision. Their report also examined pressures on childcare businesses themselves. Their presentations can be found by following this link: ICMEC presentation Kayley Hignell and Sarah Pope 30 April 2015.

Dr Jo Verrill, Director of CEEDA, shared the findings of Counting the cost – An analysis of delivery costs for funded early years education and childcare, a study commissioned by the Pre-School Learning Alliance. This study of pressures on English childcare businesses showed that those delivering the 3 and 4 year old education entitlement faced an average 17% funding gap between the hourly public subsidy and actual delivery cost, translating into an estimated £177 million annual funding deficit across centre-based childcare businesses. To see the slides of Dr Verrill's presentation follow this link:  Ceeda ICMEC Seminar 30 April 2015 Dr Jo Verrill.

Following the two presentations, Dr Gillian Paull, Associate at Frontier Economics and advisor to the 2014/15 House of Lords Affordable Childcare Inquiry was meant to introduce a discussion of the two presentations but unfortunately had to give her apologies at the last minute. The audience proceeded without a discussant, chaired by Eva Lloyd. It was lively and wide-ranging. The numerous civil servants present from HM Treasury, DFE, LGA and elsewhere were limited in the extent to which they were able to take part because of the imminent 2015 election meant they were 'in purdah.' 

Posted 21 May 2015.

Seminar One

Childcare Market Challenges for Parents and Providers

On 4 November 2014 ICMEC hosted a high level delegation of 25 Dutch central and local government representatives, NGO leaders, national union representatives and senior academics interested in the early years. They were on a working visit to England to study the early childhood education and childcare system and the first stage of primary schooling. Delegates included the head of early years at the Department of Employment and Social Affairs in The Hague. The seminar programme provided an overview of recent early years policy changes in England as seen from the perspective of central and local government representatives, an introduction to major government-commissioned research and a report on research into the role and practice of Teaching Assistants in primary schools.

This ICMEC seminar was chaired by Professor Eva Lloyd OBE, ICMEC's director, and included presentations by Mr Patrick Flack, Team Leader, Early Years Pupil Premium, Department of Education, on key aspects of current UK Government early years funding policy with special reference to England, Mrs Sharon Brown, Childcare Development Manager at London Borough of Newham, Ivana LaValle, Visiting Scholar attached to ICMEC who spoke about major surveys commissioned by the Department for Education, such as the Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey and Dr Paula Bosanquet, Acting Head of Subject, Education and Development, School of Education and Communities, on her research into the role of Teaching Assistants in English primary schools.

The four contributions can be located by following these links:

Patrick Flack DfE Presentation ICMEC 04.11.2014
ICMEC UEL presentation Sharon Brown 04.11.14
Paula Bosanquet ICMEC presentation 04.11.2014
Ivana LaValle childcare data ICMEC presentation 04.11.2014

Posted December 2014.