A journalist and stay-at-home mum says the BBC’s pre-school channel CBeebies is “the Government’s ventriloquist’s dummy”, “brainwashing” viewers with Labour party family policy.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Laura Kemp says that when she first began watching CBeebies with her 21-month old son, she was pleased at how the programmes helped his vocabulary and numeracy.
But now she says CBeebies programmes “should really be sold as the Beeb’s party political broadcasts on behalf of Gordon Brown”.
“Not a single programme in the channel’s repertoire is set at home with a mother – which is surely the most natural scenario in the world.
Miss Kemp says: “The message is clear: nursery is normal, fun and nothing to be scared of. But as a stay-at-home mum, I feel undermined, undervalued and angry.”
According to Miss Kemp, the programming of CBeebies reflects the BBC’s “paranoid desperation to embrace every minority group”, while overlooking the traditional family.
“On CBeebies, there are black, Asian and disabled presenters, ethnic dishes in It’s Time For Lunch, world music on Space Pirates, yoga and meditation on Waybuloo.
“I’m delighted every colour of the rainbow is represented… But why am I left out – the woman who chooses to care for her own child?”
Examples include cookery show Big Cook, Little Cook, where toddlers are told to “ask your grown-up helper” for assistance, and Me Too! which contrasts the daily lives of nine adults at work with those of their children staying with a childminder.
“The BBC’s message is that it’s acceptable to farm out pre-school children to a mini-institution”, Miss Kemp comments.
“How odd that it echoes the Government’s frightening social experiment of encouraging mothers to abandon their babies in the name of raised standards of living and equality.”
Last week official figures showed that two thirds of all pre-school children spend at least part of their week in nurseries.
But Miss Kemp is not alone in questioning whether nurseries are the best environment for very young children.
Consultant educational psychologist and family therapist Ingrid Collins agrees that the BBC’s exclusion of stay-at-home mums in its programming is a serious omission.
“We are in danger of steering our very young toward hardheaded, insensitive and aggressive adult behaviour if society considers it acceptable to hand children over to professional carers rather than prioritise the parental, especially the mother-child, bond, ” she said.
“Public broadcasters, most notably television, have massive influence and a great responsibility to reflect all aspects of child-rearing patterns.
“Studies have shown that very young children who are brought up by stay-at-home mums show less anxiety and aggression than group settings, and I regret the BBC has ignored this.”
When Miss Kemp challenged the BBC with this evidence she received no response.