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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2013
Childcare plans spell disaster
John Cosgrove , Liverpool Socialist Party
The recent proposals from Tory childcare minister Liz Truss to "cut red tape" and "map out the government's childcare aspirations" may sound good, but in reality will translate to a poorer service, job losses and an inevitable increase in child safety issues.
The government believes the solution to high childcare costs is to increase the child to carer ratio, meaning one carer could look after a larger group of children alone - one worker could be responsible for six toddlers.
They claim that by decreasing staffing costs and increasing subsidies, private nurseries could plough their increased revenue into lowering childcare fees.
However it's more likely that the owners of the nurseries will take this opportunity to increase their own profits.
It's no secret that private nursery owners often cry poverty and claim that the subsidy they receive only just covers their costs - in reality meaning a profit but not as large as they would like.
Also, the attacks on Sure Start services are continuing, resulting in cuts and closures. So more and more parents are going to have to resort to private nurseries, potentially allowing nursery bosses to increase fees.
If you're low paid or unemployed and are entitled to free childcare provision, then you'll have no choice but to look for the cheapest nursery, putting your child's welfare behind what you're able to afford.
The government says that increasing the education of childcare employees, (introducing a requirement for them to have a GCSE in English and Maths), will offset the increased workload and decreased staffing levels.
As a parent who's two year old will be starting nursery in May, I can't deny having better educated staff would be brilliant for her, especially in her formative years.
But the proposed changes to regulations will mean staff may be better educated but will have little to no time to pass that on.
As a parent, the biggest thing I worry about is my child's safety. If there are fewer staff looking after a larger group of children, that spells a recipe for disaster.
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In The Socialist 6 February 2013:
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
Fight to save NHS
Revolt against pay cuts strengthened at Mid-Yorkshire NHS
Lewisham hospital protests continue
Whipps Cross workers prepare for fight against jobs and pay cuts
Scrap PFI, not our hospitals
Socialist Party news and analysis
Cracks in the coalition - we must take advantage of the divided enemy
As Gove attacks teachers: NUT leaders - delay no longer
Childcare plans spell disaster
Them & Us
Socialist Party feature
Organised fightback needed to save council services
Socialist Party reviews and comments
Cut tax dodging not benefits
Film review: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Brutal cuts announced in Cardiff
Derby Labour councillors 'oppose' cuts - then vote for them
Tamil Solidarity looks at 65 years of 'independence' in Sri Lanka
Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting
Socialist Party regional conferences
Socialist Party workplace news
Workers tell Bromley council: We won't sign up to your plans
Labour cuts better than Tory ones?
Attempts to force Unison branches to affiliate to Labour
London mayor pressing ahead with fire service cuts
Workplace news in brief
International socialist news and analysis
South Africa: Battle for control of mining sector
The Socialist 6 February 2013 |
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