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Monday, 24 November 2014

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‘Government plans will kill off traditional childminder’

A WHITEHAVEN childminder says government plans to admit two-year-olds to school nurseries is a “smack in the teeth’’ for her profession.

By Julie Morgan

Miriam McAllister is also angry at government proposals to create childminding agencies which would see numerous childminders working together in one room.

A registered childminder for 26 years, she said: “For the last three to four years I have been saying that this government is systematically trying to destroy the traditional childminder as we know it. Constant changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage is a ploy to break us.”

Education minister Liz Truss is writing to every local authority in England to get more childcare for toddlers available on school sites. Placing two-year-olds in a school setting is deemed to be one way of addressing social equality, say officials.

“When are they going to let children be children?” Miriam said.

“An independent childminder such as myself can offer children with a smaller ratio, a loving and stable homely environment, where they can play, learn go on outings, be happy and do what children do?

“Will nurseries at school be prepared if a parent is late because they are caught up at work?

“Will they be able to take a child to their gran’s or auntie’s because parents have an appointment after work?

“And will the schools be able to offer the care 52 weeks a year?”

The government has also said THAT childminder agencies are a way of cutting childcare costs and increasing parental choice.

“The introduction of agencies would mean us losing the one-to-one ratio with the children in our care, as well as our independence,’’ Miriam added.

“In this area, childminders are not expensive. We charge around £4 an hour.

“If these plans take hold the lovely traditional childminder will become extinct.”

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said the UK’s specialist early years network of childminders and nurseries was “among the world’s best”.

He added: “I am struggling to understand why anyone would promote pushing our youngest, most vulnerable children into schools rather than using the existing network of specialist local provision offered by childminders and group settings.”

Have your say

Cynical. I am a childcare provider, and I feel that your comment is a little sexist. It takes two to "breed" as you put it. A lot of Mums have better well paid jobs/ careers than Dads. So your comment should include both parents.....not just Mums

Posted by Miggy on 21 February 2014 at 09:42

Cynical west Cumbrian, we are not all "breeders", I use childcare in order that I can go to work, I by no means want to "get rid" of my children. I claim one benefit which is child benefit that a lot of parents are entitle to. I pay into the system every month and have done since the age of 16, so please do not tar us mothers with the same brush. My children are my world & I work hard to look after them correctly. And the system you pay into also provides you with free education.......English lessons perhaps?

Posted by JJ on 20 February 2014 at 23:01

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