So the government, with their infinite wisdom, have decided that the way to improve childcare is to increase nursery ratios.
The ratio for under ones will increase from 3:1 to 4:1 and the ratio for two year olds from 4:1 to 6:1.
As someone who has worked in a nursery, if I were a parent this would concern me greatly. The government seem to think that if the staff member has more qualifications that they are capable of looking after more children. When you’re looking after children this young it’s hands that matter, and a ‘highly qualified’ member of staff still has only one pair of hands like the rest of us.
The pay off for working in a nursery, which is often very low paid and thankless is the interaction with children. The bond you make and the chance you have to interact with children is what makes it all worthwhile. The job with these ratio changes will become one long feeding and changing session.
I think these ratio changes are a big mistake and could result in really poor childcare. If you have two members of staff looking after twelve two year olds it’s inevitable that one person will be left in charge of eleven children for big periods of the day as a whole. It takes a good five minutes to; leave a room, wash hands, change nappy, wash hands, return to room. With 12 children you need to do this multiple times a day.
I also cannot see the logic in how this will make childcare cheaper, instead of paying three people minimum wage to look after twelve children you will be paying two people a premium wage to do the same job. Also, who will want to become highly qualified to change nappies and do endless rounds of feeding?
Perhaps I’m missing something but I just can’t see the sense in this at all.