Doubling numbers of children in nurseries and for CMs

(19 Posts)

At young nursery age a highly qualified member of staff can't change a nappy any quicker or cuddle a crying child more effectively. It is this type of 1 to 1 care that is needed for young children. At DD's nursery the staff have time to chat to her and interact with her as an individual and I value that more than having graduates caring for her at this age. The staff are all qualified or working towards qualifications, albeit level 2 & 3 rather than 4. I hope that her nursery retains the staffing levels they have at the moment and I am confident that they wouldn't reduce the fees even if they reduced the staffing numbers.

headzup Sat 12-Jan-13 10:37:30

I think is is a really bad thing. We should be championing the fact that our ratio is one of the lowest in the world, rather than seeing it as a negative thing. I think we need to change the perception that people working in the area are all not-academic. There is a lot of theory involved in childcare and eduction course. I needed 4 Cs in GCSEs to get onto my course and then did a HND, which requires 2 A levels or equivelent, which my first course was. I have also taken an A level in English and even my first course was more difficult than this. I have a 2 year old who goes to nursery 1 day a week currently and I feel the price I pay is well worth the care and attention he gets. I actually left childcare due to the low pay (although I worked in a school), but I am not convinced that in increasing the ratio all nurseries and childminders would lower their fees or that private nurseries would all significantly increase the wages of staff. It would probably be only the managers that gained.

Bonkerz Fri 11-Jan-13 22:36:29

As a childminder I am 6 months away from a degree in early years. Have over 15 years experience including being a nursery manager and I charge just £3 per hour. I won't be increasing the amount of children I care for because I like the quality of care I currently give and parents appreciate it. All childminders need to be level 3 in next year anyway which whilst it isn't degree level it's still trained and qualified. Higher ratios would mean a drop in care standards. It's difficult enough now ensuring safety of 3 under 1s ......... There is also the paperwork side of things. Currently I spend about 8-12 hours a month UNPAID completing paperwork!

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 22:24:39

Meglet, I'm sure there are highly trained and educated staff at your dcs nursery. I don't mean to come across as if I though all nursery staff are uneducated.

I know that they have to have at least on person trained to degree level in Early Years on the premises, and at least some have to have other childcare qualifications. I think the number of trained staff and the levels they are trained to is affected by the number of children, I can't remember.

ReallyTired Fri 11-Jan-13 22:06:01

I can see the sense in reducing ratios for school aged children. It is crazy that an after school club has to have a ratio of 1 to 8. School children do not need that level of care unless they are on an outing. It seemed stupid to be that two TAs could teach after a class of 30 for a day, but were not allowed to baby sit more than 16 children for two hours.

Meglet Fri 11-Jan-13 19:06:25

poppyK you'd all need sodding great big buses if you had more kids!

The logistics would make it impossible.

clouds some of the staff at the DC's nursery are well educated (one has just completed a degree in childcare the others are studying) and some are mothers.

PoppyK Fri 11-Jan-13 11:42:54

I'm a childminder and would be extremely reluctant to take on more children, for all sorts of reasons (school run is hard enough work as it is, wouldn't be able to get them all out safely if there was a fire, etc.). If I did, I certainly wouldn't be dropping my rates and taking on all that extra work for the same pittance amount of money.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 11:40:24

Nancy, do you include pre school staff and childminders in that?

Full time nurseries that provide childcare can attract uneducated staff, and in many instances, I would agree I wouldn't trust them with my children. But pre school staff and childminders often attract highly educated Mothers who either want to earn some extra money while they look after their own children, or who are looking to fill their time when their own children are old enough to be at school but still want to be around after school and in holidays.

I don't like the idea of increasing ratios, and it would make me even less inclined to use childcare. But I mean childcare, not nursery education.

Charmingbaker Thu 10-Jan-13 22:27:09

In my area private nurseries wouldn't have to lower their fees as demand is so high.

Tanith Thu 10-Jan-13 22:23:52

Can't honestly see the private nurseries reducing their fees either. Elizabeth Truss fails to comprehend two basic facts:

These are businesses, not charities.

All those childcare facilities abroad she visited are subsidised by their government.

AllThreeWays Thu 10-Jan-13 21:26:47

In Australia the have just reduced ratios, 1:4 up to 2 yrs and 1:6 2-4yrs. I pay $2000 per month. There are subsidies for low income earners and a rebate of up to $7500 per year (50% of out of pockets costs) for all..
I am very happy with the quality of care we receive (DS started at 3months) and they are well qualified. They are suitable qualifications the nurture, feed, see for and educate an infant. No need for a degree. Although the managers have a degree to oversee the programming.

Anomaly Thu 10-Jan-13 21:15:56

I think this a completely crazy idea. How on earth can anyone look after 8 toddlers and give them the care they need. Who has space for 8 kids when you consider all the highchairs, toys, potties etc. How could a childminder manage the school run with so many kids in tow?

With regards to nurseries surely owners would be unlikely to be able to have more kids due to the size of rooms. So nurseries who wanted to take advantage of the new ratios would more than likely just sack half the staff.

pointythings Thu 10-Jan-13 20:35:11

Apparently most of the childminders polled about this stated that they had no intention of lowering their charges if they could take double the children, so this is not gong to fly.

Since childminders really aren't well paid, I don't blame them either!

Meglet Wed 09-Jan-13 22:18:32

I wouldn't want numbers doubled. They can give one-to-one care (when needed) with the current numbers without the other staff being swamped with children.

A lot of the buildings wouldn't be able to accomodate extra numbers either. they'd have to add more toilets, bigger sleeping / dining areas, more outside space.

Nancy66 Wed 09-Jan-13 11:15:25

I'm sure there are some but there's plenty that aren't.

I looked at about seven nurseries in London - nurseries that others had assured me were good and well staffed - and what I saw terrified me. I wouldn't trust most of them go buy a pint of milk let alone look after babies and young children for hours at a time.

I think you have to be very careful saying things like that Nancy. I've had very bright and motivated students who've gone into childcare and by all accounts are now diligent and professional employees.

Nancy66 Wed 09-Jan-13 10:32:45

the problem in the UK is that any kid who isn't very academic or driven is pushed into a 'caring' job. Either child care or care of the elderly.

It's the calibre of nursery staff in the UK that would put me off ever using one.

Not in France but Belgium. At DS's creche all the staff are graduates (some have Masters and other PG quals in pedagogy) and all are multi-lingual. There are, I think, 16 children in his group (moyens). Our fees are determined by our combined income and subsidised by DH's employer. We pay about €550 per month for a FT place. FWIW we're not in a low income group and this creche is not one of the cheaper ones (not meant as a stealth boast, more to give you an idea of the cost of childcare) so I think that's very good value for money.

The creche is excellent and the staff are dedicated and highly professional. There's very good, regular communcation between the creche and parents. I'm really delighted with it.

I've never experienced childcare in the UK but I gather it's much more expensive.

BigGiantCowWithAKnockKnockTail Wed 09-Jan-13 05:41:36

Article here
I didn't know we had such low ratios compared with other countries. I've always liked the fact that DD's pre-school is quite small and cosy.

I completely agree that the pay should be higher given all the responsibility and training that is required of the staff. I also think it's essential to keep the costs down for parents, but I really don't like the idea of the numbers potentially doubling. And can you imagine being a CM with 8 children? shock <splinters in arse from fence>

Is anyone in France or any other country where the numbers of children are much higher? Does it work?
Are you a CM or nursery worker? If so, what are your thoughts?

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