A review has stated that nursery and childminding targets should be scaled back to allow teachers and carers more time actually teaching the children. Carers are spending so much time on paperwork that they are not spending enough time with the children, inspiring, guiding and helping them.
Dame Clare Tickell, co-author of the report, said that the Early Years Foundation Stage has helped boost standards, but it has also become too focused with meeting targets. The review calls for the EYFS to be radically changed thus reducing the number of goals for under fives from 69 to just 17.
It was said that the current scheme is "cumbersome, repetitive and unnecessarily bureaucratic." Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said the changes would be "a victory for common sense".
It points out that:
- children develop at different rates
- play is vital
- literacy and numeracy can often be taught in too formal a way which may not be productive
Instead, general checks should take place including:
- seeing if a child can negotiate space and objects around them
- communicate their needs (food, drink)
- learn new words and use them
These along with the health visitor checks at age 2 would indicate any educational needs. The report also states that everyone working with under fives should have, at least, A levels, thus ensuring a high quality workforce.
We'll have to wait and see the repercussions!
Many Mums are convinced that their baby or toddler should be cared for by them and them alone. Childminders, Nannies, even professional nurseries just wouldn't do a good enough job. However, that may be the case when babies are tiny and completely reliant on Mum for all food and comfort, but its worth thinking about the great benefits of offering your little one a bit of time away from you once you feel confident about having a few hours away from each other now and then.
The benefits of having a bit of time for yourself are obvious: perhaps an uninterrupted nap, a luxurious, candle-lit bubble bath or a trip to the shops to buy a new frock. Having a bit of time to focus on yourself is important.
The benefits to your little toddler are many. It's a great chance for them to socialise with other children of a similar age and to have a bit of time watching and learning from them. Having some time in a safe, professional establishment or with a trained carer is a good idea because the environment and activities will be appropriate for our little one's age. They also are likely to get to do things you don't do: perhaps do mucky things like big paintings with hands and feet or kiddie cooking or yoga or learn a new language!
Children aged 3-4 in the UK are entitled to at least 12.5 hours of free childcare per week. Any extra to this may be cheaper than you think - help is available through tax credits. If you work more than 16 hours a week, you may even be entitled to 80% of the cost of childcare back!
So, while Mum is always best in some cases, its worth looking in to a bit of childcare now and again for both you and your little one's sake, because there are plenty of reasons why Mum deserves a bit of time to herself!