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Early childhood learning objectives

Comment 7th July 2010

Please lift the constraints on early childhood education (for the under 5s.)

Why does this matter?


I recently spent a morning volunteering at my 3 year old's nursery.  They are a charitable organization and also receive government funding (not sure the exact structure.)  Of the 2 volunteers and 5 staff on hand that morning for 16 children, all 5 paid staff were in separate corners doing paperwork.  The parent volunteers, who were there to boost numbers for the required ratios were periodically left supervising the children.

The staff at this nursery are not well paid, but require years of training and qualifications.  They have had to hire in part timers (also needing qualifications) so they can fulfil the requisite paperwork, which is in many cases duplicated in other files.  They spend hours (unpaid) at home ploughing through the latest guidelines and planning.  They carry around observation notebooks instead of engaging the children in group songs and games. "Paperwork" is expensive due to the extra hours required and now they are afraid of losing funding.

All this planning and box ticking seems to be missing the point and qualified people are not allowed to use their instincts.

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