Lucy Powell MP said:
"The Tory-led Government doesn't just have a problem with Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems on child care ratios, but with their own side as well. During the committee stage of the Children and Families Bill on which I sat, Andrea Leadsoms MP, a great supporter of early attachment, voiced her opposition to ratio changes for under twos in particular.
These half baked Government proposals on ratios need to change and I hope that Minister Truss will listen to colleagues across the House, childcare organisations, experts, providers and parents and ditch these plans."
Notes to Editors
You can read the exchanges in the Children and Families Bill on Childcare ratios here including the comments from Andrea Leadsom MP below.
Andrea Leadsom MP: The hon. Member for Washington and Sunderland West (Sharon Hodgson MP) and I share a passion for the critical under-two period, and I am arguing strongly with my hon. Friend the Minister that we should not change the ratios for under-twos. As the hon. Lady says, a person has only one pair of eyes, one mouth and two arms. Babies under two need to be hugged, handled, loved, kissed, told they are beautiful and things like that. That cannot be done if there are lots and lots of them. So I share the hon. Lady’s concern.
Andrea Leadsom MP: I certainly do sit with her (Sharon Hodgson MP) on the issue of the ratios for the under-twos. As far as I am concerned, that is a drop-dead point. People have only one pair of arms, and babies need a lot of hugging—a point that we will come on to when we consider an amendment that she and I have co-signed.