General Article Childcare - where's the emergency?

Topic Selected: Families and Parenting
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

We had a fire alarm in the Gingerbread offices this week – and the well-practised drill had us all outside within minutes before we got the all-clear to go back inside. There is a nursery in our building, and as we shivered in the cold, we all watched with admiration as the childcare workers got the young children out of the building at lightning speed, all accounted for and kept warm and calm.

It’s at times like that you realise just how important those child-to-carer ratios are – and what an impact the Government’s latest proposals to increase them could have. Certainly all the childcare staff I saw during the drill looked like they had their hands pretty full taking care of the little ones in their charge under the current ratios, and it was hard to see how they’d have been able to evacuate safely if they had more children to look after – tucked under their arms perhaps?!

It reminded me, yet again, that it’s time to sound the alarm on childcare.

The cost and shortage of childc...

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