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Posts Tagged ‘Nursery’

George Osborne is apparently going to announce today that 260,000 2 year olds will be allocated nursery places, especially targetted at deprived areas. This sounds like it will result in children in poorer homes being given great education (a whole extra year at school!) and impoverished parents being able to get back into employment earlier.

But will it work? I can see there’ll be a benefit for parents already back at work – they’ll bear less of their childcare costs. And childcare may look more affordable for someone getting a full time job. But in our parish, I can’t see many full time jobs available and barely any of those part time jobs that someone could do in between dropping a child at nursery and returning to collect them 3 hours later. One friend would love to work during the school day (and year) but very few jobs are that flexible, unless they’re in a school. So perhaps that’s the government’s plan – employ all those unemployed parents in the nurseries that will be expanding.

It’ll be a good break for some knackered (mainly) mums but then it supplies the message that a 2 year old is better off in the hands of a government run nursery than at home and out and about with their family. I think that this was what the communists did. Aren’t we heading for the ultimate Nanny State? Am I missing something, or is this just something that the Chancellor is announcing to deflect attention from the horrors of the economy? I note that it’s been used as the headline in the online Telegraph site and doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the Guardian. Hmmmm.

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In the last three weeks of term the Curate and I attended three school Christmas productions. The first one we attended was performed by the morning nursery.

The Engineer was dressed as an elf and had to work in Santa’s workshop, rather gruesomely using a saw on the teddy bear he was carrying. The nursery children enthusiastically sang along to Bob the Builder’s ‘Can we fix it? Yes we can!’ as the Engineer and his friends ratherly sullenly appeared on the stage area. The Engineer looked like he felt it very much beneath his dignity to perform for us.

The Engineer looked about as grumpy as this elf

This elf looks cheerier than the Engineer did

As well as Santa and the elves, we had a snowman dance, a Christmas tree dance and and a full nativity scene, complete with a laughing angel and Mary broadly smiling from ear to ear. The children sang ‘Happy Happy Happy Birthday to the Baby Jesus’ and the nursery teacher reminded us that the Baby Jesus is the most important thing about Christmas. There were children of many different colours, nationalities and religions in the show and everyone there was very pleased with the performance.

My friend Sunshine, who lives in a beautiful university town, has a daughter who is also in a nativity play this Christmas. Her school, however, thought it should send an apology and explanation, I guess because they were concerned that parents would object. They reminded the parents that the nativity play happens only rarely, and asked for the parents to indulge them this year.

What a blessing to have kids in a church school in a happy city, where many cultures are able to celebrate Christmas without anybody feeling the need to apologise.

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