Child care costs are proving prohibitive for many, preventing some parents from seeking employment because they would be no better if not worse off working, and knocking lumps out of the family budget of those that do.
In a bid to help the government has raised the maximum ratio of children to adults from 4:1 to 6:1.
Immediately there are issues of care quality and training but sticking to the cost equation will costs of child care to hard pressed families, which is the stated intention, be reduced? The cost benefit to providers is obvious. Less staff now need to be employed per room of children. The profit potential will also be just as obvious to these private providers. I foresee that some of the service providers will simply say, 'thank you very much', and take the extra profit, whereas others will pass on some of the savings. Public sector funded nurseries are of course under such financial pressure that staff cut-backs are inevitable.
On balance the question is: Will the minimal benefit to a small part of the child care market be worth the reduction in staff and the attendant care issues.
I can see no good coming from it.