Nursery is unhappy with child care shake-up plans

The staff at Nature Trail Nursery, Brinscall, are against government plans to reform pre-school care

The staff at Nature Trail Nursery, Brinscall, are against government plans to reform pre-school care

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STAFF at a Chorley nursery have hit out at Government plans to reform early years childcare.

Under the proposals announced last week, a single nursery nurse would be allowed to look after up to four babies aged under one and up-to six two-year-olds.

Early Years Minister Elizabeth Truss said the measures, which will also raise the standard of qualifications needed for carers of pre-school children, would bring limits in the UK in line with other European countries and allow carers to earn more money.

But, Jennifer Firth, the manager at Nature Trail Nursery, in Brinscall, claims the changes will have a serious impact on child safety, child protection and the quality of care.

She has now promised to defy the reforms at the School Lane nursery and is calling on parents to sign an online petition against them.

She said: “Recent Government plans to increase the number of children that staff can care for in early years settings is being met with great opposition.

“We believe it will have a serious impact on child safety, child protection, quality of care and staff wellbeing.

“It is suggested the increased ratio will bring down child care costs, but we believe it will be impossible to pass the savings on to parents because higher qualified staff will drive the wage bill up and more children will need more resources.

“We understand the need for affordable childcare at Nature Trail, and we pride ourselves on being competitively priced, but we are driven by quality and not cost.”

Jennifer added: “Even without the ratio increase, staff will be stretched because of the expansion of the funding for two-year-olds.

“These children may have additional needs and some may even require one-to-one support and we question how this will be possible.”

n The e-petition can be found at department-for-education-drop-plans-to-increase-child-to-adult-ratios.