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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.

Answer(band 9):

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)

Answer 2(band 4.5):

Nowadays, childcare centres are a very hot topic and many parents are talking about their controversial issue. It is without recedence that so many mums and dads are now in the global working marker, caused in part by the remarkable phenomena of globalization that creeps in to society with ever more vigilance day by day.

I think that it is a crying shame that so many loving mothers and fathers have to leave their baby with a childcare centre. The baby will pine and crave for the affections of its mother and this may lead to the baby have developmental issues, such as learning and behavioral difficulties further down the line in later life. Moreover, these centres have been shown to be shoddy operators with many incidences of malpractices, such as neglect and physical and mental abuse damaging forever the true spirit of the infant.

So what about the grandparents? Many grandparents look forward to the day they can relax and put their feet up without the distraction of unruly children. However, many grandparents are totally committed to the welfare of their grandchildren and love to see their loved ones, lighting up their sense of personality in an unambiguous fashion.

In conclusion, it is no wonder how many parents have to leave their children at home while they try to pay off mortgages and credit card bills brought about by the current geo-political set up and burgeoning financial system of developing countries. I for one will stay at home with my kids and will therefore not require the service of professionals or next of kin.

Examiner’s Report: This candidate does not address the question asked by focusing on how children and grandparents feel, rather than the services provided. Ideas are not well developed and unsupported by examples. The information is not organised coherently and there is a lack of progression. The candidate also fails to make their position clear. The candidate has tried to use a wide range of vocabulary but there are lots of inappropriate word choices e.g. ‘unambiguous fashion’, ‘ever more vigilance’. The candidate has also tried to make complex sentences, but this often leads to them making errors that prevent meaning being conveyed. (Band 4.5)

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