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.
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 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.”
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