II. Implementation of the National Childcare Strategy
G. Consultation and Review Process
There is regular consultation with the community including the general public, NGOs, voluntary sector, education, providers, parents and employers on issues relating to childcare, education, family, etc. These review and consultation documents are widely circulated with a date for response, an analysis and interpretation of the responses usually reported and published, then appropriate action is taken based on the response. Some examples follow:
- "A Draft Framework for Qualification and Training in Early Years Education, Childcare and Playwork Sector" was circulated by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in November, 1998 with responses due by January, 1999. The first part of the Framework was published in October, 1999.
- "Review of the Desirable Learning Outcomes" requested response from the community involved. A series of conferences was held by the QCA in the summer of 1998 to which all EYDPs were invited. Then a formal consultation occurred from February 22-April 30, 1999. Responses were sought on the purposes of education for children from 3-6 years, the establishment of a foundation stage, development of new early learning goals to replace the desirable outcomes, and the forms of guidance. After some controversy about the preliminary document, early years specialists were brought together to advice on the preparation of the Early Learning Goals and practice. This review resulted in the change to the Early Learning Goals, the curriculum base of the Foundation Stage. The Early Learning Goals replace the Desirable Learning Outcomes in September, 2000.
- "Supporting Families", a consultation document, issued from the Home Office in October 1998 resulted in the establishment of the National Family and Parenting Institute.
- The Department of Health and the DfEE in March, 1998 requested responses by the end of July, 1998, to a consultation paper on "Regulation of Early Education and Day Care". This paper addressed thirty-eight issues including the kinds of services that should be regulated, setting standards, adult/child ratios, regulations on premises, inspections, registration, enforcement, reports and information, future reviews, etc.
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