focus on social and emotional, as well as educational, development.It seems clear that it will be very difficult for an individual member of staff or child-minder to implement this guidance with four babies.
The French system
-toddler centres) taking infants from 2months has aratio of 1:5 for babies and 1:8 for toddlers. It has been claimed that this provides atleast as good as, and sometimes better care, than in English nurseries with their higher ratios. Yet standards of care in France have caused controversy:
…young children are often cared for by a rotating cast of characters and
institutions within the same day. This is particularly true when both parentshave non-standard work schedules; when the parent is living alone; or whenthere is only one child (Bresse cited in Fagnini and Math 2011, p9).International comparisons have of course to be made with great care. There aresignificant differences of policy, workforce conditions and public expectation / need.It is dangerous to compare single factors. Nevertheless, the warnings are there. ry
The most vulnerable families are least likely to access effective nurseries
Making nurseries cheaper will not help the most vulnerable families, because thesefamilies are the ones most able to benefit from high quality (requiring at least 1:3ratios) nurseries :Expanding high-quality centre-based care to those children (from mostvulnerable socio-economic groups) is likely to help them catch up with their peers and thus to level the playing field (Felfe and Lalive 2012, p33)
Lastly, nursery provision per se has always caused anxiety in England with media
debating whether ‘nurseries are bad for babies’ and of course accounts of abuse.
Taking account of media sensationalism, there is still considerable underlyinganxiety although nurseries seem widely accepted as part of modern life, enablinggreater access to equality of opportunity for women and making work and family lifemanageable.Yet one does not need to turn to research to raise alarm about the idea of one adultlooking after four babies.
Dalli, C; White, J; Rochel, J; Duhn, I (undated) Quality early childhood education for under-two-year-olds: What should it look like? A literature review. Victoria Universityof Wellington.