Socialist Worker

Nursery plan - not suitable for kids

Issue No. 2338

Why do the Tories want to cram more children into nurseries and put more demands on nursery workers?

Early years minister Liz Truss has proposed that registered childminders should care for four pre-school children per worker.

The current limit is three.

She also wants them to be able to look after two children under the age of one, instead of being “restricted” to one.

The Tories also say they want to “professionalise” the nursery workforce. This seems to mean that those who care for young children should have GCSEs in Maths and English.

It’s unclear how any of this will benefit children or workers. But it will boost the profits of private nurseries by allowing them to take on fewer staff while charging parents the same rates.

The focus on qualifications also helps the Tories—who love to blame low grades and poor behaviour on individual teachers and childminders.

Pushing workers to care for higher numbers of children will risk safety and increase stress.

Britain already has some of the most expensive childcare in Europe, beyond the budget of many working parents.

If the Tories really wanted to provide good quality, affordable childcare they could fund it.

Instead they look to the market to provide childcare. That means looking after profits, not children.

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What We Think
Fri 15 Mar 2013, 15:32 GMT
Issue No. 2338
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