Liz Truss forced to reveal that she has only made 6 official visits to childcare settings.

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Following a question from Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Liz Truss has revealed that she has only made 6 official visits to childcare settings since becoming a minister in May 2010.

Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West

These visits were to:

  •  Chapeltown Children’s Centre
  • Loughborough Children’s Centre
  • Durand Academy Early Years Centre (Twice)
  • Marsham Street Community Nursery
  • Pimlico Academy’s breakfast club and out of hours provision
  • Norwich Free School’s out of hours provision
The Pre-school Learning Alliance noted that earlier this week, the Minister stated in a Daily Mail interview that she had seen “too many chaotic settings”.

The interview described childcare providers in England as “breeding a generation of unruly toddlers.” However, the recent Ofsted reports of the early years settings visited by the minister paint a very different picture.

For example, the 2011 inspection report for Chapeltown Children’s Centre  describes the children’s behaviour as “exemplary”, while the 2012 report for  Loughborough Children’s Centre states that the children “listen, take turns and work harmoniously together”.

Similarly, the children of Marsham Street Children’s Centre are described as being “consistently busy and interested in what they are doing which results in respectful, calm and good behaviour” in the setting’s 2012 Ofsted report.

However, a spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “Elizabeth Truss has visited many nurseries and other childcare settings as a parent, before she became a MP, as a backbencher, and as a Minister. “She has visited some excellent nurseries but the Government wants more outstanding facilities so that young children get the best start in life.”

Do you have faith in Liz Truss’ ability to shape the future of Early Years?  Let us know below.

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13 thoughts on “Liz Truss forced to reveal that she has only made 6 official visits to childcare settings.

  • June 1, 2013 at 11:12 am
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    Miss Truss is a waste of space. She does not support her constituents. She does not care. I am sick and tired of her negative responses and brown nosing David Cameron, the sooner she is booted out of Norfolk the better. She is paid for doing nothing they may as well have a gorilla in her place at least we’d get a more human response. The Labour counsellors are another lazy useless lot. All want the title but want to be absent.

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  • April 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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    Ms Truss has no idea! It is all too easy to sit in an office and pass judgement from afar! A big thank you to all the men and women who dedicate their time and lives to this vocation. Ms Truss needs to get out and about more!

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  • April 30, 2013 at 10:47 am
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    I actually attended the Ministerial event that was held in Leeds for providers in the public, private and voluntary sector on 2nd November 2012 at Chapeltown Children’s Centre. Liz Truss arrived to the meeting late..so when did she have time to look around the centre? Does having a meeting there class as one of the 6 settings? Even if she had a look around after there wouldn’t have been any children there as they would have gone home!
    In the meeting Liz mentioned the ratios in France and the lovely childminding links they have (probably based on one setting she visited there!) EVERYONE at the meeting said that it wouldn’t work in England, where’s the quality Liz?
    Liz obviously doesn’t understand the EYFS, I would like to see her give quality provision to 4 babies and 6 toddlers. I would also like Liz to visit our setting to see the quality experiences and opportunities we have for children…. Increasing the ratios would severely impact this! Would she have wanted her children to be on a conveyer belt of care?

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  • April 30, 2013 at 6:41 am
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    Childcare has come a long way in the last two years so her ‘findings’ before that should be irrelevant. Surely the whole purpose of the new eyfs was there to sort things out and as a childcare provider I feel it works well. Perhaps its time Ms Truss did her research again.

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  • April 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm
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    For Karen Frost, I attended the Fourish Summit of the Save Childhood Movement over the weekend. It was hugely inspiring and thought provoking. It was full of educationalislts, parents, teachers, practitioners, observers of all things Early Years with concerns, ideas and views to share. There is a growing group of partners to the movement from The National Trust to the Mothers Union to TACTYC, with innovative ideas around engaging with the sector, industry, parents and practitioners in a productive way, seeking a consciousness to what potentially lies ahead and seeks an open dialogue with those making the decisions. Follow it on twitter and facebook, get involved if you can. Use the frustration and despair the current climate gives to motvate. It is on #savechildhoodmovement and fb page of the same name. As for Ms Truss’, or any of the politicians, to focus on another countries practice demonstrates only their lack of knowledge of OUR children. Another country is another culture, and although interesting to compare, of course, it is an unhelpful distraction to instead defining OUR educational culture and putting in place policies based around OUR values about our children and their childhood, in the era and families in which they are living.

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  • April 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm
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    I worked in more settings than she’s visited when I was temping during the summer holidays at college! She has no idea of what goes on in the real world of Childcare!

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  • April 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm
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    So, “all too often” = 6 visits to settings!

    I wonder how many French settings she has visited for her to establish that they are better than over here?

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  • April 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm
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    I would love Ms Truss to work in a full-day care setting for a month and then make her opinions on unruly behaviour -practitioners in my setting put rules and boundaries in place and if the children are supervised in their free play, positive behaviour is promoted! The guidance is for children to have free choice and free-flow play and to manage their own risks, so how can children do this if they are tied to rigid routines and tables and chairs which is what I think Ms Truss would like!!

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  • April 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm
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    I feel so sad that Truss in her ignorance is going to bring crashing down years of growth and development that makes childcare in the UK the envy of many other countries.
    I have been involved in childcare for over 25 years and can’t believe that this government is going to destroy in one swoop all that I have seen nurtured and developed over the past years! If the changes proposed in the Greater Childcare document go ahead, this government will likely be long gone (in a few short years) when the cracks start to show and the impact of their stupidity becomes clear. Then it will take years to build the industry back up to where it is currently AND ALL TO THE DETRIMENT OF OUR YOUNG CHILDREN.
    Parents – use your voices NOW and make this government listen to your concerns.

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  • April 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm
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    Anyone know what early years qualifications are guiding Liz Truss’s pronouncements?

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  • April 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm
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    Elizabeth Truss seems totally unaware of research into early years child care, what she is proposing would take us back 20 years to where children are sat practising there letters and numbers and using work sheets, in preparation for school. These teaching methods were changed for a reason and its very disappointing that much of the new thoughts and changes in child care are now being ignored by an ill informed minister with little knowledge of pre-school education.

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  • April 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm
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    Hi
    Having worked in this industry for over 33 years I have to say that I am absolutely appalled at this minister’s obvious lack of knowledge in this area. She has continually talked about mirroring best practice in France and Belgium yet has her facts completely wrong and indeed colleagues from those countries are asking us to help them because they prefer our practice ! She clearly doesn’t understand child development, children’s learning or actually anything to do with young children. Many real experts who are well equipped to give her correct advice have been ignored and clearly her agenda is around saving money not improving young children’s lives.
    If she continues on this path then people such as myself will start shouting loudly and joining a movement that is growing stronger by the minute. We will not let this woman destroy young children’s lives – and this is exactly what she will do if she continues in this vain. She is making statements and then contradicting herself at every turn – I hope that parents will challenge these proposals for the sake of their children and the future of our country.

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  • April 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm
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    Oh dear! Only 6 settings in over two years? Surely this is not a statistically robust enough sample to be making the kind of comments Ms Truss has recently made about British nurseries not teaching manners to toddlers. I’m so happy to read the Ofsted reports for these nurseries are so positive. I wouldn’t be surprised if she steps down or is asked to step down after this revelation.

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