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Should childcare providers look after more children at a time?
THE Government has announced plans to let nurseries and childminders look after more children at a time.
Children’s Minister Liz Truss said the proposals to increase the ratio of one-year-olds per carer from 3:1 to 4:1 and two-year-olds from 4:1 to 6:1 would make more childcare places available, reduce long-term costs for parents, and bring the UK in line with other European countries.
Critics say the move could jeopardise children’s welfare.
Here Bridgwater childminder Emily Krause, who has a five-month-old daughter, Matilda, and who chairs the non-profit making Somerset Childminding Association, gives her reaction:
“I was sent the document all about the changes. The title reads: ‘More great childcare, raising quality and giving parents more choice’.
“This sounds brilliant for childcare providers/parents/carers – so why from talking to other early years’ providers and parents has it received mixed views?
“One parent told me that ‘if the changes happen I will have to somehow find a way of not using childcare’ while another said ‘I think they need more carers in nurseries, not less’.
“My question as a professional and as a parent is: are we making sure children’s wellbeing and safety is top priority with these changes, and most importantly, that childcare providers are sharing their time with each child?
"Would having higher qualified early years’ educators mean they will be able to cope with more children?”