ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


News - World Headlines

Ratios and Qualified Staff Requirements about to Change in the UK along with Allowing Schools to Accept Children From Age 2

Early Childhood Education services in the UK will soon be able to take on extra children for each member of staff under plans put forward by the current government.

The plan will see ECE staff able to care for up to six 2-year-olds rather than the current four, and up to four under-1s compared to the current three. Childminders will also be able to care for two babies instead of just one and four under-5s rather than three.

The changes have been criticised by many ECE providers in the UK who say raising ratios will have a negative impact on the care of children.

The UK Minister for Education and Childcare Liz Truss has also expressed the view that ECE services need to focus more on teaching children rather than just caring for them. This has been interpreted by some groups as meaning that ECE services should be teaching young children to read and write which has also been widely criticised.

The UK government is also creating a new Early Years Teacher qualification which will require entrants to have at least a C-grade in English, Maths and Science at GCSE Level which is roughly equivalent to NCEA Level One, the same standards as required for primary school teacher trainees. A separate Early Years Educator qualification at a slightly lower level will also be introduced. The increased ratios are likely to be dependent on ECE services employing more qualified staff.    

The plans contained in the government’s More Great Childcare document also include moves to allow schools to accept children from the age of two based on France’s Ecole Maternelle system which allows schools to operate infant classes. The report states that many schools already have nurseries attached to them and the changes would make it easier for schools to run nurseries or to integrate younger children into the teaching programme by removing some of the current regulations. 

The report was put together following a review of early education and childcare qualifications by Professor Cathy Nutbrown who is Head of The School of Education at Sheffield University.  Professor Nutbrown was commissioned by the government to lead the independent review and set out 19 recommendations in her final report. They included raising qualification levels for early childhood educators and tightening the requirements for services which are allowed to host student teachers.

Are you interested in joining us? 
Become a member and also gain access to our significant online knowledge base 


  • Centre Owner

    Having heard a colleague talk about how useful she had found their material I joined. ChildForum's replies to my queries are prompt, extremely informative & with a genuine personal touch. I am impressed by the commitment to research & courage in tackling the hard issues like the risks of poor quality care for under 2s
    Val Morrison, Centre Owner
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Membership Options


Who is this for?
Ideal for parents, students, teachers, researchers, teacher educators, policy analysts and children's specialists.
$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
or for students $60.00 short-term 6 month access.
Your own personal username and password.

ECE Service 
Group Membership

Who is this for?
A service that has licenced one or more ECE services with the Ministry of Education (including home-based, parent, and teacher-led).
Starting from $198.00. Provides 12 months membership from the date of joining.
A shared username and password for your service group.

NZ-International Research in
ECE Journal Subscription

Who is this for?
Libraries, universities, polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to the NZIRECE published journal and its articles.
$150.00 annual renewable in November each year.
A username and password or IP address access.