Babies 'excluded' from the Dome

10th March 2000 at 00:00
THE NEEDS of very young children have been ignored by the Millennium Dome designers, according to the Children 2000 group.

Families with babies and young children are left to fend for themselves because there are no creche facilities.

Susan Stranks, director of the voluntary organisation which campaigns for more National Lottery profits to be invested in children, claimed the deliberate exclusion of the needs of the youngest visitors would put families off.

"Such a gap in basic family provision is symptomatic of much policy-making these days," she said. "Around boardroom tables sit high-powered 40 and 50-somethings who haven't spent much time pushing buggies.

"Many households include members under seven years old. The majority of parents have no place to leave their infants and toddlers, even if they want to, to enable them to enjoy the six, long hours recommended to gain full appreciation of the Dome.

"Young children need a anctuary away from too much noise and confusion."

Attractions aimed specifically at very young children were also thin on the ground at the Dome, according to the campaigners.

Mrs Stranks said: "If new chief executive Pierre-Yves Gerbeau wants more families to visit and enjoy the Dome, his priority should be to install a safe and stimulating area where infants, toddler and pre-school kids can indulge in fun and discovery, under the care and supervision of qualified nursery staff."

A spokesman for the Dome said a creche would not be appropriate because the attraction was designed as a family day out.

"Families are supposed to enjoy the Dome together. The strict legislation covering childcare staff and cost would also make it prohibitive."

The spokesman claimed that a number of attractions such as the Time Keepers' Zone, which contained a staffed play area, and the Home Planet Zone were suitable for younger children.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today