Drop plans to increase child to adult ratios
  • Petitioned Department for Education

This petition was delivered to:

Department for Education

Drop plans to increase child to adult ratios

    1. Penny  Webb
    2. Petition by

      Penny Webb

      Kidderminster, United Kingdom

June 2013


From petition creator Penny Webb: Nick Clegg has announced he will not be backing the changes to ratios

Child welfare under threat: take action now

I have personally been involved in childcare for almost 30 years as a childminder, an early years tutor,  local authority early years staff, a playgroup committee member and a volunteer for both the Pre-school Learning Alliance and the National Childminding Association.

I have worked directly with hundreds of children over the years as a childminder and supported thousands more children through training and advising colleagues in all types of early years settings.

During this time period there have been many changes in the world around us, but one thing has not changed and that is the adult to child ratios in early years settings. This is for good reason, as high adult to child ratios enable adults to form strong relationships with the children and provide opportunities for quality interaction,  which are crucial for their well-being and development

I am immensely proud of the fact that in this country we have provided children with such high quality care and education over many years.

However, it is expected that the government will shortly announce plans to increase the number of children that an individual adult can look after both in childminding and group care settings.  Although details are not yet known, newspaper reports suggest that this could almost double the number of children currently allowed. Whatever the actual details are, any increase in the numbers of children each adult can care for, could lead to some childcare providers taking on more children  without increasing the number of adults caring for the children, or some keeping the same number of children as now but reducing the number of adults caring for the children.

Recent research revealed that the majority of my colleagues in the childcare sector believe that this move would undermine the quality of child care - without reducing the cost to parents.

I, like many of my colleagues, are parents and grandparents - we understand concerns about child care costs and would welcome the opportunity to open up dialogue with government about how we can address this.

 Keeping children safe, providing food, toys, equipment, crafts and outings is expensive for both parents and childcare settings, but the answer to reducing childcare costs is not for chid carers to look after more children as this will have an incredibly damaging impact on the thing that matters most - the quality of care of our children.

Please join the campaign and sign the petition - Our message is simple - keep ratios as they are.

Department for Education
Drop plans to increase child to adult ratios

I am supporting Penny Webbs campaign calling on you to drop plans to increase child to adult ratios in childcare settings.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. One Voice website

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      The One Voice website has been set to provide information about the proposals in the 'More Great Childcare' document. Please take a look as there is a lot of information already on there - and more is being added daily.There is a search facility and most information is a provide via a link back to the original source.


    2. Reached 25,000 signatures
    3. The National Day Nurseries Association supports the petition

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      National Day Nurseries Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE made the following comment;

      Quality of childcare and early education must not be sacrificed. We welcome the commitment made by government in More Great Childcare to build on and drive up quality in early years, but we are very concerned about suggestions to increase the number of children under three that nursery staff can care for. Strong adult:child interactions are vital for good child development. Even with higher qualifications staff will struggle to give larger groups of under threes the individual attention and practical care they need. Pay makes up around 70% of nursery fees and better qualified staff cost more to employ, so it seems likely savings made by employing fewer staff would be eclipsed by higher wages. Resolving the funding difficulties in early years that push up the cost of childcare is critical and we look forward to seeing government proposals for funding reform.

    4. Reached 20,000 signatures
    5. Letter for parents

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      Apologies for delay in adding this to the site.

      Laura Henry wrote this letter for parents to help explain what is happening. Please share with parents, - using your setting, and those parents who are family, friends and colleagues.


    6. Reached 17,500 signatures
    7. Comments about increased ratios

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all very much for all the heartfelt comments. I made a promise to myself that I would read every single comment, however I am now struggling to keep up with the sheer amount of comments.

      I will read everyone - but it may take some time, therefore please don't think that because I have not clicked on 'like' for your personal comment - that it is not appreciated - because it certainly is.

      Please continue to comment because this way the government will know how strongly we all feel against their ideas.

      I have noticed that some people are offering to help with the campaign, which is fantastic. Please email me if you want to take a more active part or become an offical supporter, Pennys.place@hotmail.co.uk

      On behalf of the children of this country - thank you all very much for your support.

    8. Reached 12,500 signatures
    9. Campaign and Petition Continues

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      We are discussing the news and announcements made today and will be planning stage two of the campaign.

      In the meantime please continue to add you support to the petition and your comments.

    10. Reached 9,000 signatures
    11. Poster and Flyers

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      We have now have a poster and some flyers to use to promote the petition. These were produced by Nathan Archer of Lincolnshire Montessori. They are available via this page on the Penny's Place blog

    12. Reached 3,000 signatures
    13. National Childminding Association supports the petition

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      In an email the National Childminding Association have said that they will be supporting the petition and providing information for their members in their next newsletter

    14. Pre-school Learning Alliance supports the petition

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      The Alliance has said that they are supporting the petition and will be passing on information to their members. Their Chief Executive Neil Leitch has personally signed the petition.

    15. Reached 250 signatures
    16. Another organisations supports the petition

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      Lincolnshire Montessori support the petition and have issued a full policy statement, part of which is included below

      Lincolnshire Montessori fundamentally believe that a reduction in these ratios (meaning early years practitioners would be responsible for more children than at present) would be a compromise on quality experiences for very young children.
      We know that the demanding role of an early years practitioner requires unlimited patience, empathy, emotional intelligence and stamina. .

      We hereby make a commitment to our children and their families that we will not be compromised by this proposal and commit to maintaining the current ratios in pursuit of the best quality early years care and education we can provide.

    17. Organisations Supporting the Petition

      Penny  Webb
      Petition Organizer

      Some organisation want to publicly support the petition by issuing their own statements.

      Please contact me if your organisation would like a statement added here

      Here is the first one

      Childcare Consultancy supports the petition and issued this statement;

      Change is a good idea, as long as it maintains and enhances quality - which I doubt changing the ratios will. I believe the next step for the sector is to inform parents that their childcare may be cheaper but higher ratios will adversely impact on their child’s learning and development.
      Laura Henry
      Managing Director
      Childcare Consultancy

    18. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • over 1 year ago

      I keep moving into bigger and bigger classes, and it really sucks.

      • over 1 year ago

      I have my son in daycare who is 10 months old I already feel that staff are over stretched with the current ratio. Children will suffer as a consequence. May force parents out of work,

    • Marianne Andrews CONGLETON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Children are our future and the most important thing - we should not scrimp on care for them, and even if it costs more in childcare parents will be prepared to pay.

      • over 1 year ago

      The ratios are already too high in my opinion to provide the best for the children. Children are our future and need the best possible start

    • dana glover COLNE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      I am qualifying to be a childcare practitioner and already know how the increase in adult:child ratios would affect not only the health and quality of care for the children, but for the practitioners also.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.