Concern over planned cuts to nursery school staff
THE city's education supremo has spoken out against Government plans to slash the number of nursery school staff.
Childcare workers would be looking after more children under the controversial plans.
The Government wants the ratio to change from four children per adult to six children per adult in a package Ministers claim will improve quality – and cut costs.
Councillor Nicky Williams, Plymouth City Council's Cabinet member for children and young people, labelled the move a "gamble" with the safety and wellbeing of children.
Pre book your Fathers Day Lunch and Receive a Complimentary Beer for "dad". 2 Courses for £13.50 or 3 Courses for £16. A Choice of our Fantastic Roast Dinners and a Choice of Starter and Desserts.
Terms: Only 2 people per voucher. 12pm-3pm.
Contact: 01752 254879
Valid until: Monday, June 10 2013
"This is an incredibly risky decision," she said.
"By asking childcare workers to be responsible for more children, the chances of accidents and safeguarding issues are also increased.
"That's not to mention the developmental questions this raises, as workers will have less quality time to spend with each child.
"It's a gamble I wouldn't be happy to take with my own child."
Council early years professionals say they are concerned childcare staff will end up supervising children rather than interacting with them.
They are worried the needs of vulnerable children will be difficult to meet, as reports could not be written effectively and observations and meetings difficult to attend.
They also say it could also be more difficult for staff to spot child protection concerns.
"Whilst we support the theory of reducing childcare costs for working parents, this should not come at the price of the safety and quality of childcare," Cllr Williams added.