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Childcare a 'demanding job' requiring specialist training

Education minister Liz Truss has called for a shift in attitude towards seeing childcare as a profession that requires training.

She said: "It is a very demanding job that requires great and specialist expertise. I am not trained to do the job. I'm a politician, not an early educator. And I'm equally sure I could not walk into a class of 30 14-year-olds and teach them German."

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French childcare system values 'lifelong education'

Education minister Liz Truss has written a blog outlining her proposals on the Mumsnet website. Here is an excerpt:

When I went to France I learned that excellent nursery and home-based care is widely available. By contrast, most parents in the UK talk about how they have to "juggle" their work and childcare arrangements.

The government spends as much as the French on childcare, so this is about something else ...

French nursery workers are paid similarly to primary school teachers, but unlike our comparatively well-paid primary school teachers, nursery staff here earn £6.60 an hour – barely above the minimum wage.

– blog by education minister liz truss

Watch: Education minister: Childcare is not just 'babysitting'

Education minister: Childcare pay among lowest in EU

The education minister Liz Truss has responded to questions on Twitter saying that England pays carers some of the lowest wages in Europe, and has among the lowest qualification thresholds.

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@pippacrerar @paulwaugh we really are outlier in Europe paying v. low salaries - GBP 6.60 per hour and low qual requirements.

She also responded to suggestions that very young children need "love" rather than education.

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@pippacrerar @paulwaugh there is very strong evidence linking higher quals to better outcomes for children -particularly for low income.

Nursery ratios raised in coalition bid to cut childcare bill

Nurseries and childminders will be allowed to look after more children as part of coalition efforts to cut childcare costs.

Education minister Liz Truss will announce today that the ratio of adult to children will be relaxed where the carers' qualifications meet new standards.

Education minister Liz Truss will announce the changes to childcare today. Credit: ITV News

Those staff deemed qualified enough will be able to take charge of six two-year-olds rather than four while the ratio for under-ones will go up from three to four.

The changes, which have been criticised as lowering standards, will be brought in alongside reforms that will see higher qualifications required of those caring for pre-schoolers.

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