Nurseries fight Government plans

Warrington Guardian: Staff at Kalgarth Staff at Kalgarth

A NEW proposal by the Government to reduce staff-to-child ratios in early years establishments has been met with fierce opposition by Warrington nurseries.

Kids Academy, who have four nurseries in Warrington, strongly oppose the new plans, titled More Great Childcare, which would allow nursery and pre-school staff to look after six two-year-old children in comparison to the current limit of four.

The changes would also permit one adult to four babies aged one or under in comparison to the current limit of three meaning that jobs would inevitably be cut.

Sue Jones, founder of Kids Academy denounced the plans as “appalling”

“The Government has simply not thought this through at all and they have refused to listen to professional advice.”

Sue, who opened her franchise of nurseries 15 years ago, continued: “This is simply a cost cutting exercise by Government. If there are less staff then the quality of child care will deteriorate.

“There’s also the effect it will have on health and safety. Staff at Kalgarth Grange can evacuate 100 children in two minutes. This won’t be the case when there’s less staff.”

Although the changes are voluntary, market pressures will force many child care providers to move to the new ratios which will dilute the quality believes Sue.

Sue said: “We’re in a recession and the Governement wants to cut more jobs. Who in their right mind would think that’s a good idea?”

Out of the 37 staff members who work at Kalgarth Grange day nursery and preschool in Woolston, seven would lose their job should the new proposal be implemented.

The proposal envisages better training for nursery staff which includes an EYT qualification but this is not the solution claims Sue.

She said: “You may have more qualifications but that doesn’t give you another pair of hands or an extra pair of eyes. Insurance companies will now class my nurseries as high risk.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "All the evidence shows that quality and safety are linked to high quality staff. If nurseries can take on more children then they will be able to invest in their staff, pay them more and attract great people into the profession.

An epetition has been set up calling for the Goverment to scrap the proposal.

To show your support visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45887

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