Dear Government: Leave our kids alone

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Dear Government, Selfservatives, Wilshaw et al,

Recently the media has seen an influx or reports saying that parents are failing, nurseries are failing and child minders are failing our children.

You're telling us that our children aren't prepared for school by age 5.

Your solution to this?  Start them earlier so that they'll be better prepared. This is against over 200 experts in early years telling you this will have catastrophic and detrimental effects on our childrens long term development.  Your 'solution' also directly goes against recent reports suggesting that 4 in 10 under threes are missing out on bonding with their parents.

Is it any wonder?

With so many parents worrying about how to heat their house, put food in bellies and keep their homes as they face increasing conditionality and harsh sanctions in their money.  Families are dissolving under the stress of ridiculous and draconion welfare reforms and the vast pool of unemployment that you're only increasing through forcing more people into it including the sick.  The lucky ones who manage to find a job discover that despite working full time they still can't support their families financially and are still under the ruthless and barmy conditionality to have access to the much needed inwork benefits because despite rising living costs you still refuse to introduce a living wage to allow people to live independently of you.  Can't have that can we?  You'd lose some of this iron tight control you've got over us.  You want us dependent on you.  You're literally banking on us all being in your in-work benefit trap.

You're closing surestart centres.

You've taken the bookstart scheme away.

For families that want/need health visitors, there simply aren't enough of them to adequately support families.

You're constantly undermining parents and destroying families.  You ruthlessly dismantle our basic human rights to family life.  You completely dismiss the important roll of parents and the positive impact a sahp can have, if the parent chooses to be one.

You introduce earlier free childcare to the exact places you're stating are 'failing' our children, encouraging them to be apart from parents, the exact people they're supposed to be bonding with and then in the next breath announce that lone parents are going to face increased conditionality and forced into work related activity as their youngest child reaches three whilst they utilise the (apparently 'optional') free 15 hours early years preschool placements.

Not once have you addressed the glaringly obvious, that maybe so many children aren't ready at 5 because 5 is too early to start formal education.  Let our children be children.  They have a fundamental human right to childhood.  Plenty of countries such as Sweden and Finland start formal education far later then we do yet equally and indeed outperform our children throughout their school life excelling in education and life in general.

We are nurturing humans not building robots.  We're teaching them all that you lack, compassion, tolerance acceptance.  These are people.  They're precious.  These are the poor little sods that will one day have the immense and epic job of trying to piece back together the country you're destroying.  To undo the hatred and prejudice you're inciting.  These aren't your weapons nor your little employable soldiers, these are the only chance of a saviour you have.

What are you teaching them?

You're teaching them to be classist as you make ill informed sweeping judgments damning lower and working class parents as failing and make patronising statements declaring they need checklists.

Guess what?  Bad parenting knows no class.

Generally speaking, if a child isn't toilet trained or speaking in sentences by age five it is not from lack of parenting yet more often then not developmental.  It is condescending, insulting and down right moronic to cast assertions that it's down to bad financially disadvantaged parenting.  Maybe if referrals were easier to come by and waiting lists shorter these children could get assistance sooner.

Support don't hate.

Have you left your child in a pub lately?

I'm one of those parents.  You know the ones you're damning and judging.  We're financially disadvantaged. We're poor.  We're lower class.  Oh no, naughty, scummy, bad bad us.

We're so bad at parenting because we're not middle class that we have three articulate, creative, intelligent and happy children two of which are incredibly academically advanced.  Oh no.  Slap our wrists.  We're not fitting into your crass paradigms. Quick! Sanction us!

You're teaching them to vilify those who's only crime is being poor and trapped within the failing economy that you created, when the real villains are in your own quarters, yes people like Maria Miller.

You've broken our economy, our sick, our poor, our NHS and now you're trying to break our children.

You want my child in your clutches earlier?  Come and get them.  I double-fucking-dare you. You'll meet an army of me.  You will not get your grubby destructive paws on my children.  That I promise you.

It's not the parents that are failing our children, it's you.

Leave our kids alone.


Mama Undone.


  1. You have managed to rip the thoughts, worries, anger and fear from my very soul, and those of millions of other parents being labelled a failure because of a class system that should long since have been abolished, and written it down into something eloquent, hard hitting and, quite frankly, brilliant. Well done Beth. Only one small correction from is not an army of you. It will never be an army of one. I, along with many others, would go to battle for all of our children, alongside you. The government can divide our classes, our races, and our rights...but parenthood is universal, it is one and the same and fight for our children we will. Xx

  2. I don't understand what is going on at all. My son got homework from preschool last week. Its crazy. Children need to start school later not earlier and they need to PLAY!!!!

  3. Brilliant post, I wholeheartedly agree.
    I became a parent because I wanted children, not minions for the Tories to get their grubby hands on

  4. I don't know how I didn't see this the first time round!
    I love this and completely agree. I do have a few points to make though:

    * Bookstart seems to still exist here (I took a call asking how many of those treasure chest boxes we need this year) and we have a children's centre that's still battling on, albeit with a reduced service. I hope both of these things can cling on until things improve because it would be such a shame to miss them.

    * I didn't realise that lone parents were expected to go to work when their children reach 3. I'm sure many of them would be happy to if someone would find them a job that they could slot neatly into their 15 hours... which would be what, 2 hrs a day max by the time you get there and back for the school run? Ludicrous. I'm afraid that funding now kicks in from the term after the child turns 2 rather than 3, income dependant.

    * do you know what gets the blame for this generation of children's poor language development on starting school? Technology. When I think back to how many hours of Cbeebies and Dora my L used to watch I have no idea how she can string a sentence together at all, never mind achieve as highly as she does!


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