Childcare professionals and families across the UK breathed a sigh of relief last week following Nick Clegg's decision to block Government plans to increase childcare ratios... Yet whilst the announcement is positive news, there remains a great deal of sector concern around other proposed reforms, which are equally concerning.
What many of us who work with young children fear is that this model may lead us to children as young as two being rushed on to tasks they are not developmentally ready for, such as colours, numbers and reading. We need to remember what's at the heart of this issue - and that's the well-being and happiness of our children.
With childcare costs continuing to rise more quickly than wages, parents are having an increasingly difficult time balancing household budgets. The OECD has highlighted that British parents pay some of the highest childcare costs in the world; parents are spending huge proportions of their salaries on childcare costs.
Being a parent is hard. In fact, let's just be honest about it, it's really hard sometimes. We often don't admit it, except to our closest friends and family, but it's probably the most challenging part of our lives. A recent survey by the NSPCC reported that in the first eight weeks after birth around three in five mothers felt isolated with no one to turn to, and two in five mothers even admitted to 'getting angry' with their baby. And this is before they've even started walking and talking!