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To disagree with 3/4 year old children having more childcare paid for

(1000 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 10:23:24

I feel the goverment should pay for education rather than childcare. 15 hours a week is enough to meet a child's educational needs for pre school. At a time of austerity, I feel there are bigger spending priorities. (Providing enough school places for children who are of complusory school age!)

If you choose to have chidlren then you should pay to look after them. I feel that labour's set of proposals are totally unaffordable and making the "banks" pay will damage the UK financial sector long term.

All these election bribes do not help the UK in the long term.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 30-Sep-13 09:54:26

There's a difference between "home life is so bad that child needs a new home and should be removed" and "home life is poor and child would benefit from extra input via nursery etc." It's just not feasible to remove every child who is in a sub-optimal home environment and it is hard to judge which children actually should be removed and whilst clearly it is got wrong sometimes, it seems right and fair to offer other support first rather than just swooping in and removing children from their parents.

Also I think the support of the added routine of a session at pre-school and the contact with the adults and other parents there, and the way that helps to structure the day for both the children and the parents, can definitely improve the quality of the child's experience in the home environment too. In fact I think pre-schools should give more attention to encouraging and supporting parents during their contact with them at the beginning and end of sessions - asking in a friendly way about what they've been doing before pre-school or what plans are for later in the day.

Bonsoir Mon 30-Sep-13 11:56:56

Most families (not just the deprived) benefit from a bit of external structure to their day/week and a requirement to get their act together.

swallowedAfly Mon 30-Sep-13 18:48:47

yes but i don't see how the support here is appropriate badly - you've just removed the child for a couple of hours a day - that does not improve the home. in fact it's just long enough for mum to drop you off, go prop up the bar next door seeing as she's made it out of the house and pick you up more pissed than ever a couple of hours later.

agree about the structure and the accountability of simply having to be 'out there' and interacting however.

swallowedAfly Mon 30-Sep-13 18:49:24

totally agree bonsoir about not just the 'deprived' - nursery meant get dressed every day grin

I think for those just struggling a little - as parenting can be hard work as we all know, especially in difficult circumstances - this relatively small degree of regular support can make a big difference to the child's experience and learning outcomes, and to the parent's life experience too.
This could be built on more I feel by pre-schools being encouraged and/or required to spend more time and energy engaging with parents during contact times - taking on board this aspect of their role/ potential role more fully.

swallowedAfly Mon 30-Sep-13 20:23:46

juggling i don't think i, or anyone on this thread, are against working with their kids and taking an active role in educating them.

i don't think tasks like this are the way to do it though.

swallowedAfly Mon 30-Sep-13 20:24:10

i'm so sorry - i posted this on the wrong thread! ignore me juggling.

Yeh, two posts ago you were agreeing with me saf and I was only making exactly the same point again - heaven knows why smile

passedgo Wed 02-Oct-13 08:25:58

Now that community health is being managed and paid for by the local authorities I hope there will be more money spent on preventative care like parenting support.

And now that adoption has become easier, more childen will be taken into care, as the long term cost is far lower. Both policies together will result in an ominous pressure on parents to 'perform' or they will lose their child.

But I believe that parents do actually want to be good, very fee want to lose their child, they just want help to enable them.

ReallyTired Wed 02-Oct-13 09:22:35

And now that adoption has become easier, more childen will be taken into care, as the long term cost is far lower. Both policies together will result in an ominous pressure on parents to 'perform' or they will lose their child."

I doult that the standard of parenting to prevent your child being taken into care will ever be particularly high. Cute babies are easily adoptable, but stroppy four year olds are less in demand. Social workers will try their damnest to keep families together.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 02-Oct-13 10:29:23

And now that adoption has become easier, more childen will be taken into care, as the long term cost is far lower.

I'd be interested to know what makes you say that.

passedgo Wed 02-Oct-13 10:31:09

Reallytired, I think I am being a bit pessimistic about the possibility that one day the social worker's principles of keeping families together will be superceded by having a cost effective long term outcome. This is fairly inevitable when the budgets are merged as the health and social care of adults in need will be far greater than the option of adoption at a younger age. Adoption has been made much easier and people are now taking on older children.

ReallyTired Wed 02-Oct-13 11:13:52

Adopting older children is far more problematic. Children who have suffered abuse for years on end are understandably emotionally damaged and can be challenging to parent. The more damaged the child is, the more likely that an adoption will break down.

There are parents who aren't abusive, but really struggle to parent for one reason or another. For example it would be unreasonable to take children into care just because a mother is experiencing postnatal depression or is homeless or the child has a disabled older sibbling or mum is physically disabled. The majority of two year olds who get free pre school education do not come from abusive families.

There is a difference between supporting a family in challenging circumstances and taking children into care.

passedgo Wed 02-Oct-13 11:41:35

But there isn't support for families in difficult circumstances. It really isn't there. You're on the radar or off. Most abuse can be prevented with correct intervention, but there simply isn't any.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 02-Oct-13 12:00:33

Again, how has adoption become easier? Also ReallyTired, there is evidence that even babies can experience long-term and later issues, so not sure about your comment.

ReallyTired Wed 02-Oct-13 12:18:32

"Also ReallyTired, there is evidence that even babies can experience long-term and later issues, so not sure about your comment."

Adoption at birth can cause issues and certainly there are organisations and website to help adoptees come to terms with the fact that they were adopted. Many adoptees grow into happy and well balanced adults. Social workers nowadays understand the importance of a child knowing their life story and the reasons behind the adoption when they are old enough to understand.

If a child suffers substained physical or sexual abuse then it is pretty much guarenteed that they will suffer pychologically as result. I believe that the affects of serious child abuse are far worse than pychological consequences of adoption.

In my area there is support for families in difficult circumstances. The goverment cut backs may have reduced support, but is still there in the form of children centres. health visitors, pupil premimum for schools and limited funding for pre school for two year olds.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 02-Oct-13 12:39:48

I'm not saying that the psychological impact means children shouldn't be adopted, just that a lot of people underestimate the impact of attachment issues when babies are adopted. We already know that the brain can be 'damaged' (for lack of better word) by poor early attachments.

ReallyTired Wed 02-Oct-13 13:04:00


Babies aren't forcibly adopted for the fun if it. Complusory adoption should only be done when a court deems that it is in the best interests of the child.

An older child has to come to terms with both the pychological impact of adoption and the pychological impact of the abuse they suffered. The longer the abuse goes on the worse it is far the child.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 02-Oct-13 13:36:14

You don't need to be patronising. I'm not saying that children should not be adopted, just that adopting a baby is not 'easy' nor does is it as guarantee that the child will not grow up having an attachment disorder.

Lilka Wed 02-Oct-13 13:42:24

Adoption has been made much easier and people are now taking on older children

I disagree, especially with the second part.

The approval process is becoming more streamlined and faster (4-6 months) but the process itself is not any easier as such. It is as thorough and in depth as ever (and rightly so) and a slightly shorter process to approval doesn't really (IMHO) make it emotionally easier.

The numbers of older children being adopted are falling, not rising, and falling significantly. IMO, it has very little to do with more children aged 0-2 being adopted, because the children who are available for adoption aged 5/6+ were not in care aged 0-2, they were living with their birth parents.

When I adopted my DD1, she was 10 and a half, and in the year we finalised (1998) there were 962 adoptions of children 10-14. In the year I finalised my DD2's adoption (she was 10) there were 531 adoptions. Last year there were just 435. (these figures include step parent adoption)

The statistics are showing the number of children aged 5-9 being adopted is falling slowly but surely. The number of children aged 10-14 is falling quite fast.

I think this is going to continue

Lilka Wed 02-Oct-13 13:44:54

that reads wrong, my DD1 was 12 when we finalised, she was 10 when she came home. DD2 was 8, and finalised at 10, which puts her in the higher age bracket in the adoption statistics

passedgo Wed 02-Oct-13 14:03:48

Let's look at the type of things that precede abuse and neglect:

Depression - often caused by PND, but also by underlying issues. How many people actually get free counselling or psychotherapy to help them with this? Where I live you only get it if you're suicidal, otherwise it's £50 a session.

Immaturity /learning needs - neglect is sometimes caused by people who just don't think, have no clue about bringing up children and don't know how to put anyone first but themselves. The parents need a very involved service that comes in regularly and teaches them what they need to know. This doesn't happen.

Domestic violence - all girls and boys need to learn to recognise an abusive relationship yet this isn't taught to children. Once they are in an abusive relationship it is almost impossible to get out. Who helps them on their way?

Then there are the practical problems, like housing, transport, work etc.

Really A lot of health visitors are underpaid migrant workers that hardly speak English, and social services where I am is so dodgy that the best people leave. There is a very high turnover. Childrens centres are over-run by middle class Mums fussing about their children's diet. The most support received is from teachers, but they have no ability to intervene until it is almost too late.

I truly believe that the services have normalised dysfunctional families and are far too complacent, but that doesn't mean they should be swooping in to take children away. What they should be doing is prevention. In the meantime, the Tories have found a perfect solution to the social services finances - put them into care and then have them adopted. This is not a solution, it's a way of shirking responsibility.

Sorry this is completely off topic.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 02-Oct-13 14:08:48

Wow passedgo sweeping generalisations or what?! shock You do know that the threshold for taking children into care has not changed, right?!

ReallyTired Wed 02-Oct-13 14:27:24

passedgo i am sorry that services are in such a mess in your part of the country. Where I live health visitors all speak excellent english and the children's centres are focussed on reaching out to more families in challenging circumstances. I know plenty of people who send their children to pre school for free at two years old where there is no question of the children being taken into care.

I except that prehaps not all the country has a high standard of services to families in challenging circumstances. Prehaps some parts of the country have higher proportion of challenging families.

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