Nurseries 'not teaching manners'

Too many nurseries are failing to teach young children good manners, the childcare minister has said. Elizabeth Truss told the Daily Mail a more structured approach was needed, similar to the French system.

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'Children are not running around unsupervised'

A leading charity which represents pre-schools across the UK has criticised the childcare minister for "exaggerating" claims about problems in nursery education.

The Daycare Trust Chief Executive Anand Shukla said that the comments made by Elizabeth Truss would "only confuse parents".

The mother of two said that British nurseries should adopt the French model which has a greater focus on teacher lead activities rather than free play.

Nurseries Association: Childcare 'needs to be balanced'

The National Day Nurseries Association has disputed claims made by the childcare minister Elizabeth Truss, that teacher lead structured learning is the only was to instil good manners into toddlers.

We agree with the minister that a chaotic environment are not good for children.

Good and outstanding nurseries follow an early years curriculum, the Early Years Foundation Stage which helps children learn through play.

It includes a mixture of group-led activities and activities where children choose what they would like to do and spend time interacting with their key person.

Group led structured learning is important but must be balanced with the opportunity for one-to-one adult: child interaction.

– Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of the National Day Nurseries Association


Parents react to concerns about 'bad manners'

We asked you for your comments on concerns raised by the childcare minister Elizabeth Truss that nurseries were not teaching toddlers manners.

Mrs Truss said she wanted pre-schools to instil a 'sense of purpose' in young children and that nurseries should recruit graduate level teachers to improve the quality of their services.

I do agree that a more structured learning system would be an advantage, although I don't think that relates to manners. In America it's a similar system, kids are taught in a school type setting from a younger age, and they are proven to be more responsive and socially adept. I do agree that it's the parent's job, but it should be followed through at any educational/childcare facility.

– Sarah Clarke

When my grandchildren started pre-school they had wonderful manners, taught by family. After being at pre-school for a while and since then at school they have to be constantly reminded to say please, thank you, excuse me etc.

– Ann Hutton

Although it is the parents job not all parents bother to do it and its good to have nurseries and schools working on it to so the child has to use manners and learn respect for others especially for those kiddies that dont get this teaching at home.

– Vicky Blair

'Chaotic scenes' in children's nurseries

The childcare minister Elizabeth Truss says the government is keen to ensure that all children learn good manners at pre-school.

The South West Norfolk MP said "I have seen too many chaotic settings, where children are running around. There's no sense of purpose."

Childcare minister Elizabeth Truss Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

She urged nurseries to employ more teachers with a graduate level qualification as a way of restoring order to their classrooms.

Truss: Nurseries should be 'more French'

The childcare minister Elizabeth Truss believes that more pre-schools in the UK should adopt a French approach to childcare which bases many activities on teacher-led routines.

Her comments come after the Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, announced a major shake up of the inspection system for nurseries.

This isn't about two-year-olds doing academic work - it's structured play which teaches children to be polite and considerate through activities which the teacher is clearly leading.

What you notice in French nurseries is just how calm they are.

All of their classes are structured and led by teachers. It's a requirement.

They learn to socialise with each other, pay attention to the teacher and develop good manners, which is not the case in too many nurseries in Britain.

– Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss to the Daily Mail


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