I have been campaigning against the Government’s plan to weaken adult-child ratios in childcare settings, which would do nothing to help parents and would reduce the quality of vital early education. In a debate towards the end of last year, I raised the case of one of my constituents who works as a child psychotherapist and shared her fears about the impact that relaxing ratios will have on the mental health of vulnerable young children.
I am therefore pleased that the Government has listened and has decided to abandon these irresponsible plans. This is a particularly significant victory for Zoe and Lewis Steeper, who set up an e-petition to oppose the proposals after losing their son Oliver following an incident that occurred at his nursery. In light of all the challenges children, parents and carers have faced in recent years, due to the pandemic and now the current cost of living crisis, the Government has a duty to provide the highest quality of education and care to children. As former Shadow Early Years and Children’s Minister, this is something I care deeply about and will continue to focus on in Parliament.