About This Site

PLEASE NOTE THIS SITE IS CURRENTLY ‘Mothballed’ and not being updated. The information is being left visible, and if the need arises may be brought into use again


Hello and Welcome to the One Voice site,

History of One Voice

This site was originally set up by Penny Webb, a registered childminder from Worcestershire who was very concerned about the proposals within the ‘More Great Childcare’ document, and in particular;

  • The proposed increase in ratio’s in Early Years settings, which would have meant each adult looking after more children
  • The proposal to introduce Childminding Agencies

These concerns led Penny to set up a petition  to enable people to voice their concerns and to join together in signing a petition, and to setting up this site to provide a platform to bring together all those who are concerned about the Government’s plans for early years setting as described in the document ‘More Great Childcare’, and who want to speak with One Voice.

Success on Ratio’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           As well as the original petition, others, including the Pre school Learning Alliance and The Childminding Forum, set up other petitions, and well over 80,000 people in total signed these petitions, giving the Government a very clear message.

On 6th June 2013 we were told that the government was going to scrap its plans to increase ratios in Early Years Settings, and indeed they did do this.

Although delighted with this news – the campaign against the other proposals within More Great Childcare – and in particular Childminding Agencies, the new early years qualifications, the role of the Local Authorities, 2 year olds in school  and the reduced emphasis on play continues.

As a result Penny set up a new petition on the same day as she closed the ratio petition

Stop, Listen, Consult Petition
Link to new petition calling to scrap More Great Childcare

However, it appears that the Government are not listening to the concerns being expressed and are continuing to implement their proposals as follows;

  • Cuts to Local Authority budget, meaning that support for early years settings and schools is reduced in many areas
  • Piloting Childminding Agencies which WILL be implemented from September 2014
  • Allowing schools to provide places for two year olds
  • Changing the inspection focus for Ofsted inspections – and downgrading settings as a result
  • Putting the emphasis on more formal education and less emphasis on play

It appears that the youngest children in our society are being used as political pawns, and parents are being pressured into putting their children into childcare or school at a younger and younger age, and for longer and longer hours – because working parents and in particular mothers are seen as essential for economic reasons.

There is a growing concern about what is happening to childhood and to parents rights to decide about their child’s early years. More campaigns are being set up, and in particular the Too Much, Too Soon campaign which is an initiative of the Save Childhood Movement,  Early Education Advisory Group, of which Penny is a member.


In addition concerns are now spreading beyond early years and colleagues within the Primary Education sector are campaigning against Government proposals. Penny is now connecting with primary colleagues through the Charter for Primary Education and is a member of the steering group


As a result of the change in focus for ONE VOICE, all the pages and post related to the the ratio campaign have been moved so that there are grouped together.

There are sections for the following campaigns

  • Childminding Agencies
  • Too Much, Too Soon


Early Education have  set up a campaign which is called EYpledge     LINK to EARLY EDUCATION

Children and Families Bill

Despite campaigning and objections to childminding agencies from many individuals and organisation, the Children and Families Bill gained Royal Assent, therefore it will be legal from September 2014,  for childminding agencies to be set up, and for childminders to registered and be inspected through a childminding agency, rather than directly through Ofsted.

Response to the Regulation of Childcare Consultation

Despite many disagreeing with Government proposals within the consultation document, the Government have decided that the will implement most of their proposals


Moving Forward

Clearly, campaigning against childminding agencies can now not have any impact as there are now legally possible from September 2014. Likewise cuts to Local Authority and budgets are taking place, changes to regulations, including the Early Years Foundation Stage  are going to be implemented from September 2014.

And so, the purpose of this site need to change and move forward – because although the Government has not listened to the Early Years sector and are pushing ahead to implement policy that is not based on research, knowledge or understanding of young children, or of the early years sector – there is very good reason to continue challenging the Government on its policies  – the reason being THE CHILDREN OF THIS COUNTRY.


And so, as the title of this site suggests the aim is that we continue to work TOGETHER FOR QUALITY, to ensure the voices of the early years sector, parents and children are heard as ONE VOICE.

Every child deserves to be able to access the highest quality care and education, as appropriate to that child’s needs and his or her parents wishes – so at home, with a childminder, in a playgroup, in a pre school, in a day nursery, in a before or after school club, in a holiday club, in a school reception class.

Government agenda’s of getting parents into work, reducing Government budgets, and applying ‘one size fits all’ policy, procedure and provision are not acceptable and should be challenged.




The intention behind the site is that as much information as possible will be added, mainly via links back to the original source, to protect copyright but also to enable readers to access further information from those sites.

However it should be noted that this site is maintained by Penny in her spare time, there is not a team, of people or a admin, and so at times there maybe a delay in adding new information. Therefore if anyone has any links that they want  to be added to One Voice, this can be done by emailing the information to:  togetherforquality@hotmail.co.uk

In addition, if anyone who is  campaigning on these same or related issues, and would like their own page on One Voice, this can be done free of charge if the text about their organisation is submitted for approval to togetherforquality@hotmail.co.uk

The One Voice Logo has been provided  by Jennifer McQuillan, free of charge, to support the campaign.

10 thoughts on “About This Site

      • Thank you for comments Rebecca

        I agree that it is not that clear – as although the contact email address is on lots of different pages – their is not a ‘contact us’ page.

        I will add one – in due course. I have to admit that IT is not my thing at all – and as this blog is set up and run by me – I only have my not very satisfactory method of trial and error to work things out.

  1. An excellent idea to collate information and links all in one place. We all need to step up, stand up and be heard..together.

  2. I’m on your list! Silly but very chuffed to see my name up there. Wish I was doing more but feeling a bit inadequate and impotent. Spent 3 hours of child-free time this afternoon while kids at cinema/mothers day shopping with DH, trawling through reports and policy papers and trying to summarise issues and evidence. I’m now brain dead and in total awe of you Penny, and similarly Sarah Neville and Simona MacKenzie, and all the others above who seem so much more capable and have made themselves figures of real influence.

    Edited by P.Webb on 3.3.13 in response to comments recieved

    • Thank you for your comments Rebecca – and your name is there for good reason! You are one of the people who email me things directly (rather than sharing via Social Media)

      I am very sadden that not everyone wants to join together through One Voice for the sake of the children of this country.

      I think it is important to include links to as much information as possible including different forums / petitions.

      It is up to each person / group to decide if the impact of joining together through One Voice is more important than any personal agenda

      Unfortunately I do not have the capacity to check every forum and every website or every media article and so do have to rely on people to send me information

      There are a lot of people who are influential and doing a lot in their own ways for the campaign – but if everyone spoke with One Voice – we could do so much more.

      Edited on 3.3.13 by P.Webb in response to comments recieved

  3. Well done Penny for being professional and being able to rise above egos.
    Am I alone in thinking if the two initial petitions had been joint we would be looking at a petition of 60,000 plus signatures……now that would have been a show of sector unity.
    My feeling is that at a time when immense change is being proposed to the Early Years sector a united stand will carry far more influence. While personalities seek personal “pats on the back” while in fact spreading panic by speculating on what the proposed changes will actually mean for all involved, can only in my view, be counter productive to a sector that already struggles to be respected and valued.
    Time after time and on all the social media, Childminders, Parents, childcare professionals etc are saying the same things are important to them. As sector professionals I see our role as helping to shape and direct any changes proposed through proper meaningful engagement rather than headline grabbing tactics.

  4. Hear Hear Bea, we all need to stick together. I am on different forums just because they exist, and I have joined the Independent Childminders Focus Group because not only am I opposed to agencies, but I also believe that we need to have a voice in maintaining the same terms that we work under now in respect of inspection costs, training availability etc and this will be easier to negotiate as a body rather than an individual.

    But I also share here as much as I can, and I for one am very grateful for all of the hard work that Penny is putting into this. I don’t really understand why others chose not to share or work together.

    Loving the new look site Penny too. Much more user friendly 🙂

  5. Some thoughts on what we as a profesdion need to do.
    1 Keep to actions needed to change minds.
    2 Post exact information about consequences.
    3 Put last short message about feelings and links to posdible voting intentions. government bit wobbly after eastleigh and if large number of possible voters question their priorities they might adapt. essential to gather birws of all together. if we cant find our way around our own side then no one else will even try.

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