Nursery staff to take on more children per adult

Higher ratios and qualifications agreed for nursery staff and childminders

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The ratio of children per adult is to be raised for nurseries and childminders in a bid to lower childcare costs for parents.

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The new plans, outlined by children’s minister Liz Truss, will see more children cared for by individual staff while new criteria will be set out to ensure carers have suitable qualifications.

The new ratios will be determined by the child’s age and the setting of the care, but in some cases the increase may be as much as 50%.

The current ratio for under-twos, where nurseries take on three children per carer, will be allowed to increase to four per staff member under the new proposals.

Facilities can increase the ratio for two-year-olds from one carer for every four toddlers to one for every six.

Childminders would be allowed to care for two babies instead of one and four under-fives rather than three.

Speaking to BBC News, Truss explained the changes would bring England in line with other European countries, where the focus is put on quality of staff.

Under the new structure, truss claimed the standard of childcare will rise as only nurseries who hire staff with better qualifications will be able to take on more children.

Currently childcare professionals are not required to have grade C GCSEs in English and Maths, something Truss has deemed “unacceptable”.

Under the new “relaxed” ratios, higher class sizes will lead to lower costs for parents and higher pay for staff, she claims.

Critics have raised concerns that the quality of childcare and individual attention will be sacrificed. The changes have also been predicted to prove unpopular with parents – what’s your opinion? Let us know by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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