News Views

Work Based Crèches

This month’s article on the proposal to develop a new crèche in an office park in Leeds does not cover some important child care issues.

Is it better for a baby, toddler or little child to commute with its parent to the work area, or to be cared for near the family home? On the one hand, the parent is nearby if the child is in a work-based crèche, but it is subject to daily commuting. If the parents work in different places, which one should it accompany? What if parents travel around a lot? What if the parent is suddenly called away at work or is taken ill? – is the baby stranded?

Again, does the work-based crèche allow for easier electronic contact? Parents could presumably access CCTV sited in the crèche on their work computers to make sure that their little ones are playing happily and being well cared for.

Any readers with experience or opinions may like to comment.


A survey by Sainsbury’s has found that children dictate what the whole family eats, with 8 in 10 mums (77%) admitting that their children are the meal maestros at dinner time. And while 80% of families find time to sit down regularly for a meal, around 350,000 never eat together as a family.

The study – carried out by Netmums for Sainsbury’s Active Kids Get Cooking scheme – revealed 70% of mums are convinced their children know more about cooking than they did at the same age. Around 1 in 10 mums admit they don’t teach their children how to cook. When asked what puts them off teaching kids how to cook, 14% of all parents admitted they hate the mess, 32% have no time and 9% admit they don’t have the skills to pass on. A health and safety conscious 13% – around two million families – say that cooking at home would be too dangerous for children.

The process or the output, we wonder.

A Question

A reader has written in, “What would you do in the following situation? You have noticed that staff are standing around while outside in the play area. They are obviously watching the children but are interacting with each other rather than the children. They are not down at the children’s level or involved in their play.”

We suspect that the answer will differ, depending upon whether you are another child (noting that staff in this place aren’t really interested in children?), a colleague (going to talk to children to set an example?) or a manager. What do you think?

We recall visiting a nursery where the staff had not even noticed that one of their children was still inside, howling because he could not reach the door handle to get out. And they had been outside for twenty minutes.

On the Move

Aviva Travel Insurance have undertaken a survey of 1,006 UK parents and found that over the past generation, the proportion of families going overseas for their holidays has risen significantly. While 94% of parents said their own children had been abroad before the age of 16, just 4 in 10 (39%) had been abroad themselves when they were young, a difference of 55%.

Children are also travelling to further flung destinations than their parents ever did. While just 2% of today’s parents had been to North America when they were young, over a quarter (28%) have now taken their own children to the USA or Canada. Closer to home, just 26% of today’s parents said they had been to Europe when they were a child yet 73% said they had since taken their own children to the continent.

Of the people who take their children on two foreign holidays a year, 94% go to Europe and 51% go to the USA. Assuming a trip to the south of Spain and another to Florida, these children would have flown over 10,000 miles per year, meaning they would possibly have flown the equivalent of seven times around the globe by the time they were 16.

The bigger question is what the children have learnt – new skills and experiences on holiday? about other cultures? about themselves on seeing other cultures? Or have they just been playing by a pool with other Brits somewhere warmer than the UK?

Babies for Sale?

We have seen some mind-boggling offers recently. There was the email, “Boots announces new baby offer”. Were they selling them, or offering to help mothers become pregnant? Meanwhile, Tesco has “great baby offers” and “mini baby bargains”, suggesting that they have graded the babies they sell into two sizes. Then again, there was the notice attached to a local lamp-post announcing a “second hand baby sale”. Some parent fed up with their child, and choosing to sell rather than offer for adoption? We think that all this baby trading is alarming, involving two of our most prestigious shopping chains, and it warrants a Royal Commission to investigate.

From the Case Files

She was concerned that she was suffering sexually transmitted deceases.

Deadly infections.

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