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Lecturers to warn assembly members of 'dangerous' childcare plans

23 March 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Childcare lecturers from further education colleges in Wales will today warn assembly members that planned changes to childcare qualifications are dangerous and could lead to a repeat of cases similar to that at the Little Ted's nursery in Plymouth.

At a lobby of assembly members, lecturers from UCU will warn that students who qualify under the new course will be unprepared to deal with sensitive and complex issues such as child protection, child development and nutrition.
 
The planned changes will see the current 'gold-standard' courses cut by two-thirds, meaning that students could gain the qualification to have unsupervised care of children in as little as 12 weeks.  The current course is a two-year, full-time programme.  The replacement qualification being proposed by can be delivered in only a third of the teaching hours and following just one practical work-placement.
 
Guy Stoate, a childcare lecturer at Coleg Morgannwg and President of UCU Cymru said: 'The changes planned to childcare qualifications are drastic and dangerous. They will put babies and young children at risk, and they will undermine flagship Assembly Government programmes such as Flying Start and the Foundation Phase.
 
'We are calling on assembly members to intervene and to call a halt on these changes. The proposals from the Care Council for Wales are being rushed and they are badly thought through.  What they are planning is a reckless reduction in the educational standards which childcare workers will need to achieve in to allow them to look after our youngest children.
 
'The consequence will be students who qualify to have unsupervised care of our youngest children without the knowledge and understanding they need to deal with complex issues such as child protection and emotional and physical development.
 
'The whole process needs to be stopped and started all over again. If need be, Wales should go it alone and put together a made-in-Wales qualification that would be amongst the very best in Wales.
 
'We need to take our time and get these changes right. After all we are talking about the welfare and safety of our youngest children and there is surely nothing more important than that.'

Notes

  • UCU lecturers will meet at 12.15pm on the steps of the Senedd on Tuesday 23rd March. Plaid Cymru's Bethan Jenkins AM will speak at the lobby in support of the UCU position.
  • Members will attend from different branches from around Wales, including Coleg Morgannwg, Swansea College, Coleg Sir Gar, Barry College and Neath Port Talbot College.
  • In December 2009 Vanessa George was convicted for sexually abusing children in her care and for swapping images of the abuse with two other paedophiles while working at the Little Ted's Nursery in Plymouth.



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