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The Tories destroyed the future of children. Now they want more cuts in kindergartens Polly Toynbee


I.In fear of local elections next week, to talk on Tuesday about the cost of living, which will not cost the Treasury anything. One of them is worth the land – Jacob Reese-Mogo’s call to abandon the pure climate goal. Another thing is the future of children – the plan reduce the number of kindergarten staff in England in vain hopes to reduce the high cost of child care. Among the advanced economies of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is only the Israeli government spends less on childcare than in the UK as a percentage of GDP.

Just during the meeting of Offsted’s office was released disturbing report saying Covid hit the labor force the hardest in the early years. “Thousands have left the sector since the first closure in 2020, while those who remain often have difficulty surviving on low wages.” Over the past two years, more than 5,000 childcare providers have closed, reports Ofsted. As always, according to the Early Years Alliance, areas with the least childcare and fewer kindergartens are the poorest areas where children need it most. Chapter Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, told in the Today program yesterday that many minors – who have lived all their lives under Kovid – urgently need extra help with speech delay, vocabulary and social skills.

But it is when they need more highly trained education that the number of children’s places decreases. Spielman told Today that it is “troubling” that fewer parents are taking care of their children and many are reducing their workday. Research from Pregnant, then fucked shows that 62% of women spend more on childcare than on rent or mortgages. That’s from all sides: 1.7 million women can’t work as much as they want, according to Women’s Budget Groupbecause they cannot afford the astronomical cost of childcare. The biggest loss is for the children themselves, who may never catch up with more affluent children who get more and better childcare education (really free kindergartens without hidden replenishments are hardest to find in the poorest places). The amazing system of government subsidies provides more assistance to families with higher than low incomes.

Now the government is proposing that instead of more trained preschoolers, very young children should have fewer: only one care worker for four minors, not three. Has anyone in the office tried this all day, every day? Reese-Mogg (“never changed diapers”) could ask his famous nanny. So much for leveling children’s future life chances.

Now staff are leaving the sector to other industries; many are “exhausted” and feel “underestimated,” 16,000 places in kindergartens have been lost in five years, says Neil Litch of the Early Years Alliance. Leitch believes that reducing the number of staff to the number of children will lead to the fact that earlier workers will resign. Moreover, “not a penny” of the so-called savings derived from this measure will never pass to parents, he says. “The crèche will pay off the debts and pay a little more to its staff so they don’t leave.” It took two and a half years and a request for freedom of information for the Alliance to force the government to publish its official report showing that ministers knew they were underfunding the sector by £ 1.7 billion, making it completely impossible for kindergartens to provide the amount of free childcare the government claims to offer. Leitch says a review of spending last month only suggested cuts for kindergartens with growth below inflation over the next three years.

Of the many horrific acts of vandalism committed by the Tories since 2010, one that has done exceptional damage is the destruction of the Labor Party’s best achievement – 3,600 children’s centers “Sure Start”. In addition to good kindergartens, many of them have become excellent centers of the local community, offering new families all the help they need, from midwives and medical visitors to speech therapists and speech therapists, outdoor games, psychiatric care for depressed parents, job search assistance and adult education and training. Each family will receive as early support as possible to ensure that each child is ready for school by early detection of child development problems. Some “Secure Start” centers still exist where councils, despite wild cuts, stick to them. Some state-supported kindergartens have survived, the highest quality beacons of child education, in a sea of ​​often low-quality worn-out private provision. But most of the confident starts are gone.

The most important are the first 1000 days of the child: after that – all the repairs and catching up, which is more expensive. Sure Start was based on the Head Start study in the US, which observed people over a 30-year period from childhood to adulthood and found that after two years of intensive kindergarten training and family support each 1 dollar spent brought in 7 saved dollars later in life, at a better job, less crime and less likely to be mentally ill. Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Philipson recently promised at a teachers’ conference to raise the prize for young students more than four times as well as improve the quality and support of kindergartens. In a speech later this week she should repeat the great value of Sure Start.

But now we have in power Liz Trass, who in 2013 wanted to reduce childcare staff to the ratio one worker caring for six children. At the time, she declined numerous requests to demonstrate how this could be done. This is just one example of the thinking of the Cabinet of Ministers: every time these Tory ministers and their gang in the press call for tax cuts and spending cuts, they mean just such daily brutality.

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