Archive for October, 2010

Spending review and education. Early Years.

Fishing on the Canal by Laing Junior aged five years and one month. Daddy (centre) with fishing rod (right) - maggots in his lunch box to fish with. Mermaid (left). Seagulls (including some flying sideways).

 A strange sense of unreality pervades news coverage of the U.K government’s spending review right now, I feel. (Isn’t that often the case you might argue – depending on what your news agenda is?). Twenty-five per cent cuts in public services. Child benefit protected it seems.

Realities for parents of young and older children remain the same as they have been for generations. It’s getting colder – gloves and hats needed. New shoes. Money for school dinners. What to put on the table for tea? Christmas is coming…and the barrage of adverts for products aimed at young children has started already…how are we going to afford the many things our children will need in the coming months and years?

Can we pay the rent? The mortgage? What about the price of food? Many of us are waiting for the axe to fall on our jobs. Or the axe has fallen already…and we’re dealing with the aftermath. We know there will be widespread cuts to social housing and disability benefits – how many families with children will lose their homes? We don’t know. 

Blogs are somehow living entities – they grow and develop in unexpected directions. I’m asking myself once again – what’s the remit and the job of this blog in the current climate anyway? A Parent’s Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage? It seems the most practical job I can do now has to be – attempting to chart how the cuts in early years education will affect families and what we can do about them.

Let’s start with understanding the spin. The comprehensive spending review refers to cuts proposed over the next four years. My understanding right now is – very few of these cuts are set in stone. Remember what happened following the announcement of the proposed cuts to child benefit. Protest.

The most useful piece of information I’ve come across today is Red Pepper’s Countering the Cuts Myths. Here’s the link. Well worth a read.

Red Pepper – Countering the Cuts Myths.

and to take action – there’s the Coalition Against the Cuts. Find out what your local protest movement is doing at this link:

Coalition of Resistance.