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One mother in three is unhappy with child care [GB]

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Womack, Sarah
Publication Date: 
16 Oct 2006

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One in three mothers is unhappy with the care her child receives in a nursery, according to a report today which rekindles the debate about day care.

For millions of women, mortgages could not be paid or jobs maintained without nurseries, which - with their long opening hours and permanent staff - are the apparent solution to some of the difficulties of working motherhood.

Only 16 per cent of those surveyed said their life "could function" without using paid-for child care.

But 34 per cent of mothers have qualms about the quality of care their children are receiving.

Nearly a quarter said the nursery had failed to stimulate their child, and 22 per cent said they had raised "poor safety issues" with nursery staff.

Today's survey of 2,000 mothers, whose average age was 32, was commissioned by the Discovery Home & Health channel for a programme about nannies. It found that a third of mothers were unhappy with the care their child received.

Only five per cent of mothers said they could afford a nanny. The National Day Nurseries Association said the research was "biased and irresponsible".

Purnima Tanuku, the chief executive of the association, said Ofsted figures showed that 93 per cent of nurseries were working at or beyond the stringent requirements they set.

"If the regulatory body was to turn up and discover some of the scenarios this research paints as a common picture, immediate action would be taken," she said.

"This survey insults the hard work of nurseries and the choices parents have made. Any parent who is unhappy with the care their child receives can make a direct complaint to Ofsted, which will trigger an inspection."

- reprinted from the Daily Telegraph