A Conservative MP has compiled a report on the state of UK childcare amid concerns over quality, price and availability. Elizabeth Truss, MP for Southwest Norfolk, has called for a revamp of the childcare system. She spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week about making it simpler and more attractive so as to attract better quality staff.
The report, written on behalf of the think tank Centre Forum, revealed that a childminder receives an average income of £11,000. Mrs. Truss believes this is an obstruction in attracting skilled and motivated childminders.
The UK spends more money on childcare than any other country worldwide with the exception of Switzerland. Families spend a whopping 27% of their income on childcare.
Mrs. Truss believes that current regulations concerning supervision ought to be relaxed. Currently, there must be one childminder for every child under five years old. The MP believes that a 1:5 ratio would be more appropriate.
This irks me somewhat, as a common theme of child accidents is poor (or in some cases non-existent) supervision. See a recent blog from my colleague for an overview of the type of cases we regularly witness.
I think Mrs. Truss’s pledge to make the system simpler is admirable. I support her suggestions for a single funding system and allowing childminders to be registered with a local agency who will oversee inspections and training.
Yet on the issue of supervision, I am adamant that if we were to see a loosening of regulations then we’d witness an increase in child accidents and fatalities. In safety terms at least, it’s a numbers game: the more eyes and ears to keep our children safe, the better.
If your child has been injured while in childcare, please contact us today to discuss your claim free of charge with a specialist Child Accidents Solicitor.