Is increasing the adult:child ratio in nurseries really the best way to bring down the cost of childcare?

The government has announced plans to allow nurseries and childminders in the UK to look after more children.

Presently, the child to adult ratio is 1:3 But the new ratio of one adult to four children.

The Children’s Minister Liz Truss is spearheading this change, however, and says childminders and nursery nurses should be allowed to look after more children each.

While the aim is to make childcare cheaper for parents, and enable more mothers to ho back to work, many parents and childcare professionals are concerned about the safety of children if the ratio of children being looked after by one adult increases.

This concern is shared by Joycellyn Akuffo, the founder and editor, of Motherswhowork.co.uk who says: “Bringing down the cost of childcare is a welcome change – but not at the risk of children’s safety. Parents in the UK pay about a third more than their European counterparts and this cost is subsidised by those governments, not by stretching an already high ration even further.

“While having this on the agenda is fantastic – and parents have waited long enough for the government to do this – the solution feels a little poorly thought out.”

Liz Truss also says nursery workers should be better qualified, and have at at least a C grade in GCSE Maths and English. This would be a welcome change for parents, as the perception of many is that those working in nurseries tend not to have excelled academically.

Watch this space.

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