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To think change in childcare ratios will lower childcare standards

(526 Posts)
moogy1a Tue 29-Jan-13 08:17:34

Proposed change in ratios for nurseries and childminders means that some nurseries will almost double the number of children with the same number of staff.
How can this possibly improve childcare standards? Common sense says more children, less attention per child no matter how qualified the staff.
The proposal also seems to think this will lower costs. it won't. Costs per child will be the same but nursery profits will increase.
For CM's the ratios are also to increase. The whole point of CM's is that you can get out and about to parks / playgroups etc. How will that happen with 4 one year ols to transport?

OP’s posts: |
notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 08:18:32

YANBU. Seems inevitable.

comedycentral Tue 29-Jan-13 08:27:18

YANBU. The quality of care will reduce dramatically.

Tailtwister Tue 29-Jan-13 08:27:33

Yanbu. I think it's a crazy idea. I can see it widening the gap between rich and poor, with people paying more just to get a decent ratio and others just having to accept the changes and reduction in care.

RattyRoland Tue 29-Jan-13 08:29:39

Yanbu. It is ridiculous and will result in more accidents sad

mummybare Tue 29-Jan-13 08:30:45



Tanith Tue 29-Jan-13 08:36:09

Reduce their costs?!!

Reduce their staff more like!

This is playing straight into the hands of the big nursery chains. It will not reduce fees for parents. It will simply increase profits for the big childcare businesses. That's why they lobbied for it.

EmmelineGoulden Tue 29-Jan-13 08:37:32

YANBU to think it will lower childcare standards. YABU to think it won't lower costs - it's basic economics and has been seen to happen in industry after industry. There is no rational reason to think childcare will be different.

I agree with Tailtwister is right about it widening the gap between rich and poor.

Iggly Tue 29-Jan-13 08:39:11


It's about making money.

This government are the stupid kind of an idiot. I mean really. Because most if not all of their kids are/were looked after nannies, they don't give a shit. Research done under labour meant that great strides were made at improving prospects for young kids (the whole early years/sure starts stuff) and it's being dumped.

Whoever voted for this shambles of a shockingly selfish government should hang their heads in shame.

And don't give me the bollocks about austerity. We are not all in this together.

tiggytape Tue 29-Jan-13 08:40:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iggly Tue 29-Jan-13 08:41:50

I'm getting more angry the more I think about it.

We're talking about our children. The future. And we want to go the way of battery farming nurseries..?????

sleeplessbunny Tue 29-Jan-13 08:47:01

Agree with Tanith, this is highly unlikely to reduce costs to parents, it will simply increase profits for the big nurseries. And lower care standards sad

Not quite the same I realise, but it makes me think of one of my dad's childhood friends who became extremely rich on the back of elderly care homes in the 80s. The difference in living standard between him and the poor residents was deeply shocking when I realised what was going on (I was about 12).

CatelynStark Tue 29-Jan-13 08:50:24

This has enraged me too, even though my children don't need childminders anymore. How on earth can this lower the cost of childcare for working parents? It's just going to cause more stress all round!

Also, the raising of academic requirements for nursery staff?? I didn't give a flying fuck if my children's carers could deconstruct a sonnet!! I just wanted them to look after my babies!

It's outrageous!

Tailtwister Tue 29-Jan-13 08:54:19

It makes me angry too. Selfishly, I'm very glad my children are nearly out of their early childcare years and I'm extremely happy with the care they have received. However, I fail to see how someone can care for 4 young babies adequately. I do fear it will lead to accidents or even worse, simply because nobody has that many eyes in their head. If I had a young baby now, I would be worried all the time whilst I was at work with these proposed rations.

Is there anything we can do to stop these changes, or at least a more sensible approach?

Portofino Tue 29-Jan-13 08:55:45

YANBU - particularly when talking about small babies. On the other hand - my dd started Maternelle in Belgium aged 2.5, and there was one TEACHER for a class of 25 2.5 - 3.5 year olds. Dd loved it.

I was amazed at how they managed to do anything without spending all day in the toilet. But they did projects, trips out, painting, playing, baking etc. I think it true to say the level of training obviously makes a difference.

Tailtwister Tue 29-Jan-13 08:58:28

That's very interesting Portofino. Do you know what the ratio is for younger children?

dreamingofsun Tue 29-Jan-13 08:58:50

tighter controls over who can look after children would help. the only really bad childcare i had was a mother whose son had problems. so much of her time was spent supervising him that she couldn't deal with my kids properly.

when i complained to the council, and i said they should have made me aware of these issues they said, 'well she has to earn a living'.

redexpat Tue 29-Jan-13 08:59:20

I live in one of those countries that has fabulous childcare, and the CMs all have massive prams that 4 LOs can sit in. That's how they get out and about.

meadow2 Tue 29-Jan-13 08:59:33

3 year olds if they have been potty trained would be fine even if numbers went up significantly,as long as wages rose for childcarers.

Under that age I dont think ratios should change.

NoisesOff Tue 29-Jan-13 09:01:01

YANBU. I know they're allowed more children per worker in many other European countries. I wonder what standards are like there?

TiggyD Tue 29-Jan-13 09:04:48


I hear the idea is only nurseries with well qualified staff will be able to raise ratios. That's good. Good staff will be more sought after meaning their wages should go up. That's good. Wonder how the wages will be paid? By not reducing fees at a guess.

There are times when numbers of staff count. Cuddles and hugs will drop by 12% for a baby. (As they will have 25% of a staff member each as opposed to 33%). It's harder to keep an eye on more children so bites, pushes and toy snatching will increase. 18 toddlers will have to be led out of a burning building by just 3 staff instead of 5.

"But France have 1:5 ratio for babies" they say. If France jumped off a cliff should we? It means we're better than France at looking after babies.

This is not good news.

sleeplessbunny Tue 29-Jan-13 09:07:34

Is it true that the European countries with higher ratios and good childcare provision generally have heavily state-subsidised or state-owned nurseries? I expect the total cost of the provision is at least as high as in the UK (due to better staff training), just that the state foots a lot of the bill.

My big problem with this change is that without tight controls, the money saved will go straight to the hands of the nursery owner, not the parents. Some nurseries round here have waiting lists months long, why would they lower their fees?

Iggly Tue 29-Jan-13 09:07:56

I remember being at DS's nursery and seeing younger babies being left to bawl their eyes out as the staff were either too busy or didn't "like" the child and thought it was just after attention <you think?> they were fine with the older babies. Bigger ratios will make it worse.

meadow2 Tue 29-Jan-13 09:08:57

Portofino- Do you know if the carers in the Maternelle recieve a decent wage,or is still very low paid work?

StripeyBear Tue 29-Jan-13 09:09:08


However, I do think it is very fuelled by parent pressure for cheaper childcare. Lots of my friends and acquaintances have been going back to work after their first baby over the last few months, and the constant moan is about how expensive childcare is. We used to hire a nanny, so I think that makes you think about all the separate things you have to pay for when looking after a child (wages, employers NI, accountant to do your PAYE, covering sick pay, lunches, a cook, activities, toys, equipment, transport).

I have often got myself in trouble by pointing out that £45 for 10 hours childcare is pretty cheap, when you consider all the "inputs" in running a nursery. A number of people have explicitly come back saying that for over 2s ratios could be much higher.... of course, they usually don't have an over 2 wink

Our local preschool runs with a ratio of 1 (paid) adult to 10 over 3s - though people often forget about volunteer parents, students and the like in the room. However, a preschool is really different - it is meant to be a short burst of group activity - the children are still getting individual attention for most of the day from parents and other carers - and I think that is necessary for both practical stuff and emotional development.

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