Letter: Nursery education: vital for children's development or simply hothousing?

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a parent of two young children, with first-hand experience of nursery school, I welcome your support for nursery education for all three- and four-year-olds (leading article, 16 November). I am convinced that nursery education is not only good for 'transcending social disadvantage' but also of crucial benefit to all sectors of society.

You are right, unfortunately, that some do not understand what it is about, as demonstrated by Susan Elkin's article on the same day. Her description of 'hothouse institutions' and notion of nursery schools as nanny-state substitutes for good parenting are both completely alien to reality.

Nursery education provided by selected, qualified teachers in daily contact with their children works in partnership with parents and goes far beyond what parents alone could provide, whether in a Fifties or a modern setting.

Yours faithfully,


Little Waltham, Essex

16 November