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22 April 2013, 06:05 | Updated: 22 April 2013, 07:08
Norfolk MP Liz Truss claims too many nurseries at chaotically organised and failng to teach children good manners.
The Childcare Minister claims pre-school units needed a more structured approach and more teachers with a graduate-level education, in an interview with the Daily Mail.
She is praising the French system for caring for youngsters, using a teacher-led daily routine which she said resulted in a calmer atmosphere in the classroom.
Mrs Truss, a 37-year-old mother of two, says the Government wants children ``to learn to listen to a teacher, learn to respect an instruction so that they are ready for school''.
``This isn't about two-year-olds doing academic work - it's structured play which teaches children to be polite and considerate through activities which the teacher is clearly leading,'' she told the paper.
``At the moment fewer than one-third of nurseries employ graduate-level teachers and have structured, teacher-led sessions. We know that's very beneficial.
``What you notice in French nurseries is just how calm they are. All of their classes are structured and led by teachers. It's a requirement.
'They learn to socialise with each other, pay attention to the teacher and develop good manners, which is not the case in too many nurseries in Britain.``
``I have seen too many chaotic settings, where children are running around. There's no sense of purpose.
``In these settings where there aren't sufficiently qualified staff, and children are running around, we are not getting positive outcomes.''