Letters, Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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Fears over plans for child care

I AM concerned over the plans for changes to the ratios of children to adult carers.

 At present, it is one member of staff to three for those aged under two years and one member of staff to four two to three-year-olds. The change would mean children’s day nurseries could have one staff to four under-twos and one staff to six two to three-year-olds.

 I understand that other countries adopt similar systems with some degree of success, however, with the new early years standards (EYFS) comes an increased amount of recorded development, which is a daily and in some cases hourly recording. Add that to long term and short term planning, free flow, risk assessments, action plans, daily recordings of meals, toilet, sleep, verbal and written feedback to parents and you get some idea of the difficulties staff face in handling the ratio changes.

 A higher qualified member of staff may be able to handle situations with more efficiency, but it will still be a struggle.

 There is a way of reducing fees for parents by having the business rates for children’s day nurseries in line with care homes for the elderly. On average nurseries are paying £20,000 per year while care homes, which are substantially larger, are paying £2,000. As both are commercial businesses, both should pay the same and the saving can be passed on to parents, either through grants via local authorities or by the nurseries reducing costs directly.

 I do understand that the Government is in a difficult position and that it is doing well in supporting early learning through educational grants.

 The Government also has a good understanding of the importance for early development and how it will improve children in reaching their full potential in life.

 I, along with all my staff, love and take the greatest of care in giving children the very best that we can, please help us to keep our children safe with the right level of staff to ensure we always give the best care and support in a child’s development.

Eamonn Gribben

We are very proud

FIRST of all a very big and sincere thanks to you and the Sunderland Echo on behalf of all the family for your lovely and fitting tribute to our mam, Pat Burn, Life of a Champion, on May 27.

 It made us feel very proud of mam.

 An equal thanks also to all the contributors to that article, notably Liz Clark.

 As a family we have been moved so much by the love and admiration which has come from people and organisations in health and community for whom Pat willingly and wholeheartedly gave her time and energy.

 We knew that she was very active in many areas, but have only come to fully know just how much she has been doing from recent contact with her friends and colleagues.

 We hope that other champions will pick up Pat’s legacy, and that the New Silksworth and Sunderland of the future will do justice to her hopes and visions.

 We would finally like to thank the wonderful staff at St Benedict’s Hospice for providing care, dignity and freedom from pain in the final days of her life.

 We wish them well in their imminent move to the new Ryhope site.

Alan, Ian and Steve Burn

Site not available

IN response to a letter printed in the Sunderland Echo on June 3 (Why not hold fair on old Vaux site?) I can advise your readers that discussions were held between Sunderland Live and Sunderland City Council regarding potential locations for the event.

 The former Vaux site is not available for use while the work to realign St Mary’s Way and create a new public square is carried out and this is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

 Therefore there was no possibility of hosting the event at this location.

Chris Alexander,

Chief Operating Officer

Sunderland Live