05 April 2007

Labour's ASBO Generation

"Toddlers who spend three or more days a week in nursery are more likely to become anti-social, worried and upset, government research has found."

Surely this BBC headline comes as no surprise to anyone except the Labour party – perhaps especially to Gordon Brown, who has done so much to champion the growth of nurseries as part of his drive to get mothers into the workplace?

The government-backed study by Oxford University, the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the National Centre for Social Research reports that, "Attending centre-based provision had a number of less positive relationships with children’s behaviour. Children who attended for at least 30 hours and/or 3 days every week were rated as more anti-social, for example more likely to tease other children and call them names, prevent other children from carrying out routines or be bossy and need their own way." Among its conclusions, it states, "Although the age at which children started attending their Neighbourhood Nursery did not have an impact (either positive or negative) on their behaviour, duration of childcare during the early years was important: the longer children had been attending their Neighbourhood Nursery, the more likely they were to display anti-social behaviours."

No wonder the Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned yesterday that, as more and more mothers are being encouraged to return to work, babies are simply being "institutionalised" by the state.


Anonymous said...

In the 1940's and 1950's my local Council ran a very large Day Nursery which was situated 5 minutes walk from a big manufacturing firm - it also had a bus stop outside to make access easier for the Mothers who left their babies from 7.20am until 5.05 pm so they could 'clock on' by 7.30 and leave work at 5.00 (4,30 on Fridays).

This pattern was surely similar in other manufacturing towns across the country.

Did those children grow up 'deprived' and 'out of control'? or were they taught to behave and treat elders with respect??

Teachers, Police, Nursery Workers (and parents) were all free to discipline a child when the boundaries of acceptable social behavior were overstepped.

'Political Correctness' was not heard of then and society was a lot better for it.