Letter: Effects of nursery education

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The Independent Online
Sir: In her article "Nursery Crimes? Not guilty" (26 April), Fran Abrams shows how easily we can be persuaded to believe whatever suits us regarding the emotional needs of children.

We are departing from nature so much in every sphere we now deny the child's deep-seated need to bond with an informed, confident and loving mother. When Dr John Bowlby conceded that a child's need could be met by any other stable relationship, he had in mind a mother substitute, which still rules out nurseries, where a one-to-one attachment to a primary carer is impossible.

Key nursery workers are still workers and may leave at a moment's notice. In any case, they can never love a child as well as a family member and therefore pick up the subtle cues that establish a health-giving sense of self-worth and basic trust.

Young children want their mothers, and mothers know when their children's needs are not being met. If children become independent too soon, from necessity and not by a healthy progression at their own pace, they may never grow to the inter-dependent stage of full adult maturity. With so few adult relationships succeeding, isn't that exactly what we are finding in society today?

Mrs D Goodman

What About the Children?