Toddlers in group care ‘damaged’

The Press 07/08/2009

A generation of children has been “disenfranchised” by being put in preschool group care, an early-childhood education leader says. Controversy erupted in the early-childhood education sector yesterday after The Press revealed Children’s Commissioner John Angus was investigating childcare for under-threes. PORSE managing director Jenny Yule, who has worked in the sector for 30 years, said group-based care for toddlers caused long-term damage. PORSE is an in-home childcare service with about 3000 children enrolled nationally.

Yule said international and New Zealand research showed that babies needed one-on-one attachment and an environment that was not big and busy. “The last 20 years has funded a group-based model, which is great for three and four-year-olds, but the trouble is we’ve sucked in all of the babies,” she said.