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A petition against Government plans to change the ratios of the number of adults to children in early years settings such as nurseries and registered childminders has received more than 21,000 signatures in less than 3 weeks.

The petition (www.keepratiosdown.co.uk), started by the Childminding Forum (www.childmindingforum.co.uk), the UK's largest free online community for registered childminders, was written after forum members voiced their concerns about the potential effects of increased ratios and has since gained the support of other childcare professionals and parents.

Sarah Neville, an Ofsted Outstanding rated registered childminder for 19 years,...

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