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Question: Some parents think that childcare centres provide the best services for children of pre-school age. Other working parents think that family members such as grandparents will be better careers for their kids. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Some argue that when parents are at work, close relations provide the best care to young children, while others believe day care centres offer a better service. It is agreed that while some relatives take care of youngsters extremely well, childcare professionals offer a better overall service. This essay will first discuss the merits of family members looking after ‘pre-schoolers’, secondly, an analysis of childcare centres’ services, followed by a reasoned conclusion.

Many parents in full-time employment prefer to leave their young ones with grandparents and siblings when they are at work. This is often a trust issue, as the parents feel their child will be safer with someone from within the family nucleus. For example, a recent study showed that 62% of working mothers prefer a member of the immediate family to provide care when they are working. However, most kin are not trained childcare professionals and may not have the skills required to fully nurture a child.

Daycare centres may be a better option due to the fact that most of their staff are highly skilled professionals. Many of their staff are highly trained and have diplomas in child development. For instance, if you want a job in a Montessori school, they will insist that you are fully qualified, with many of their staff having degrees in early years development. In spite of this, there have been recent high-profile cases of abuse within these establishments which makes some parents wary.

In summary, although there are some issues involving trust, as long as parents vet each school properly, the high level of service provided by daycare professionals trumps that of unqualified family members.

Examiner’s Report: This answer fully addresses all parts of the question, focusing on which of the two alternatives mentioned provides the better service. A number of relevant, extended and supported ideas are used to produce a well developed response. The ideas are logically ordered and cohesion is used in such a way that it attracts no attention. Paragraphing is used very skillfully and progression between paragraphs is managed with a high level of sophistication. A very wide range of lexis is used appropriately. The range of grammatical structures is wide and all sentences are error free. (Band 9)

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