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Childcare is Big News

Childcare is big news at the moment. There is the report by the CSJ which talks about relaxation of the childcare ratios. Don't get me started on this one, but suffice to say anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that relaxation of childcare ratios is not going to solve the childcare crisis out there

18/10/2012

 

You are not going to get mums back to work by reducing nursery ratios, or deregulating childminders. That is not going to free up enough space, and in any case the real issue is that mums cannot go back to work because of the rising cost of childcare.

Who have they spoken to when drafting this report?

There isn't a parent out there who would say they would prefer nursery staff to be in charge of more children than less, and the nurseries and the childminders are not in favour of this either.

At Tinies we have always campaigned for the exact opposite of deregulation. We want to see more regulation in the childcare industry, and are supporting the campaign started by Voice "Regulation Matters".

And a new report out this week argues that the UK should be looking at Denmark for inspiration and a childcare system that emphasises quality and not cost-cutting.

On a lighter note

I did laugh at the other government initiative of giving fathers the opportunity to share maternity leave. Whilst I'm all for equality, do men really want to strap on a pair of fake breasts and look after their newborn baby? It took my husband 2 years to find the spare nappies, and he never could work out the steriliser. When I did leave him on his own once for a night out with the girls, I came back to find him and the baby crying!

I know there are some excellent fathers out there who stay at home and look after their children. But the majority of families probably can't afford for the father to take time off work. Estimates from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills predicted only up to 13,500 couples would find it economically beneficial to switch the allowance from mother to father. Given that it was reported in the papers that the government would need to spend £22 million on a new IT system to monitor who takes the maternity leave, is that a good use of money?

I feel that the childcare industry is in a state of crisis at the moment, and it needs a strong minister (is that you, Elisabeth Truss?) to take control of the situation and stop wasting public money on misguided initiatives.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

 
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