Letter: Parents' fears

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The Independent Culture
Sir: There is no doubt that child-minding support services could and should be improved, but a more effective way of ensuring this is to increase the number of staff in the current local health and welfare services. More childcare workers and more health visitors offering "on-call" advice and support are what is needed, not the upheaval proposed in order to increase the role and reach of Ofsted.

Another, less draconian, way forward would be to encourage local links with organised playgroup leaders. Many would welcome closer association with local primary schools from which both they and the children they care for could benefit. Similarly, many child-minders - including child- minding grandmothers - might welcome such links with day nurseries and nursery schools.

PHYLLIS WILLMOTT

London N6

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