13th April 2001 at 01:00
Martin Rowson's cartoon (TES, March 30) (which depicted a "five-star" nursery trying to get into the Michelin guide as well by serving gourmet food) brilliantly captures the dilemma facing early-years providers. The proposed competitive star rating system will not solve the shortage of quality, affordable early-years services.

Servces in low-income neighbourhoods which depend on poor parents for their income will be particularly vulnerable. We must not foster in early years the divisiveness that characterises later stages of education in this country.

Eva Lloyd

Chief executive The National Early Years Network

77 Holloway Road, London N7

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