A friend’s daughter is doing an apprenticeship at a nursery, a chain store style nursery. She gets paid £10 per week by the nursery and £100 per week from the government for a 46 hour week. She is in charge of a room of pre school kids, and usually there is another girl working with her in the room. Not too many kids at the moment, start of the school year, but from January, she will have 27 kids in her room. (They are all age segregated, it is going increasingly that way). The parents pay £50 per day per child. The nursery will therefore get £1350 per day for that one room of little kids. They pay the staff for that room a total of £4 for the day. That’s a lot of profit for one room in one nursery for one day.
Whatever happened to the minimum wage?
Not only that, the Ofsted requirements mean that the girls spend most of their time monitoring, observing and recording what the kids are doing, and they can’t possibly give the kids the attention they need, even though they want to and like being with kids.
Parents are encouraged to use nurseries for the good of their child, to prepare them for school. Credits or benefits or vouchers are offered to working parents to pay towards nursery fees, but only certain nurseries, the government approved ones. You can’t pay your gran or mum with the credits. Nor can you pay yourself. The government only rewards you for going to work and putting your child elsewhere. The optimal financial situation is for the mother to go out to work and pay a government approved nursery.
The apprenticeship leads to a qualification. Then you can get a proper wage. So it’s not in the interest of the nursery for their apprentices to qualify. And when they do, there are always plenty more people desperate to work for virtually nothing, with the promise of a job at the end. Harder to get a job when you are qualified because you cost too much. Why would an employer pay more when there is an abundance of almost free labour? ‘
Meanwhile, the youngsters are not able to bring much money into the family home, nor have much time and energy to help, nor are they able to move out. So parents are saddled with dependent children for longer and longer and longer.
There’s a way round this. Set up independent care in people’s homes. The parents could pay half the amount, say £25, and the carer could have, say, two children and make £50. Or two carers for four kids. No Ofsted, and a two to one ratio. Life could be fun again. Bypass the system.
(See also earlier post: Ofsted Control)