A six-year study of Britain’s Sure Start learning centers for children four and under finds no improvement in “children’s development and skills as they enter primary school,” reports The Telegraph.
Middle-class mothers use Sure Start centers for free babysitting, writes Alice Miles in The Times. Low-income mothers often stay away.
Some of them canâ€™t be bothered. Some may be put off by the dominance of the confident middle-class mothers. Some might be deterred by the fear that they will be asked to fill in a form and they wonâ€™t be able to read it. And then there is the pervasive nervousness about the State, and its power over their children: is the centre there to spy on them and report them to social services as bad mothers? Might it try to take their children away? It is so much easier to let the kids watch TV at home instead.
More than $40 billion has been spent since 1997 to create learning centers in low-income areas; the Labour government plans an $8 billion expansion, reports Gadfly.