In recent weeks, the debate around reducing childcare costs and improving quality has been confused. This has been most evident in the More Great Childcare proposals to increase adult:child ratios in nurseries and to change them in childminding settings. This is the clearest indication yet that for the Coalition government, cost is the biggest driver for change, not quality.
I thought it might be a good time to share one of our team's "Day in the Life of..." blogs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, and I hope that it also highlights the positive experience that the right person, with the correct attitude, knowledge, experience and training, can bring to a child's day at nursery.
While some media might have us believe that most single parents are shunning work in favour of a 'lifestyle' on out-of-work benefits, the reality is starkly different. Single parents are highly motivated to work. After all, they're the sole breadwinners for their families - families which face twice the risk of living in poverty than those headed up by a couple.
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!
I believe strongly that high quality childcare is something which should be accessible to all, particularly as research shows that children who attend an excellent setting (nursery), followed by receiving a high standard of teaching in a primary school, have a significant boost in their development.