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Social Trends 2012. Topics. Expansion in early years education Ageing population and home carer abuse Divorce rate increase Unemployment and benefits High fertility rates and age patterns. Expansion in early years education.

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  • Expansion in early years education
  • Ageing population and home carer abuse
  • Divorce rate increase
  • Unemployment and benefits
  • High fertility rates and age patterns
expansion in early years education
Expansion in early years education
  • More children under 5 are now enrolled in some form of education in various settings such as nursery schools.
  • 21% in 1970/71 to 63% in 2008/09

- What are the reasons for this?

- What are the possible effects of this on child/society?

  • Growth in number of early years places – 723 in 1970/71 to 3209 in 2008/09
  • More women in work or with careers so more nursery places needed
  • Improved standards in early years education in recent years
  • More free nursery places for disadvantaged families – up to 15 hours per week
  • Government initiatives – Early Years Strategy
impact of this on children
Impact of this on children

Class debate

One half of the group will research the advantages of nursery and the other half will research the suggested disadvantages. We will then hold a debate on this.

impact on society
Impact on society
  • More people able to work due to more access to free childcare – employment levels may increase
  • Better educated children of the future
  • More money going into economy – costs of childcare
ageing population home carer abuse
Ageing population & home carer abuse
  • Read and highlight key points from the following articles

why is there an ageing population
Why is there an ageing population?
  • Rising longevity– people are living longer thanks to improvements in health, diet and preventative health care. During the 20th century the average life expectancy in Britain increased by 30 years.
  •  Lower/declining birth rates – over the last 40 years women have been having fewer children, however in the last decade birth rates have risen slightly. Women in UK are currently having 1.9 children, the highest figure since 1973, but far lower than 2.93 in 1964.
effects of ageing population
Effects of ageing population
  • A main concern is that with the retirement of the baby boomers, the number of people of a working, taxable age will shrink or become stagnant. This could result in gaps in the jobs market, with businesses and public services lacking the workforce required.
  • With the elderly being the fastest growing age group in Britain, increasing pressure is being put on healthcare and social services. A report in 2005 said a key aim of government policy should be to encourage people to remain active, engage in regular exercise and refrain from behaviours that could have a detrimental effect on their health.
  • In a speech on NHS reforms in January 2008, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown discussed a change of emphasis to prevention rather than cure, and the need to ensure the NHS benefits from new and innovative technologies.
  • Ageing population ‘to strain NHS’ - BBC News
  • Personal savings is another potential dilemma; societies must save to be able to allocate funds for investment for the future, in such things as factories, offices, transportation, schools, energy and hospitals.
  • If older people don’t save or run down their savings while a smaller working age population does not save enough to compensate for the shortfall, then a shortage of savings could seriously affect economic performance
divorce rate increase
Divorce rate increase
  • Pressure -being put on family life by an increasingly "individualistic way of living".
  • Changes in the law - several laws have been passed to make divorce easier to obtain.
  • Ease of divorce - the stigma of divorce is greatly reduced in society today, so people no longer feel ashamed to be divorced. Sociologists point to a decline in the influence of religion as another factor.
  • Change in attitudes - some sociologists argue that marriage is highly valued in society, partly due to the image the media present of marriage as based on romance and happiness. People now demand more from marriage and if it does not live up to the ideal they hold then they will get divorced and try again - this explains the growing number of remarriages.
  • The changing role of women - approx. 70% of divorces are initiated by women. Women today are more likely to be independent - with a good education, fewer children and a job. If they are unhappy in a marriage it is easier for them to leave and start again.
consequences of divorce
Consequences of divorce
  • More single parent families
  • More one person households
  • More remarriages
  • May be more poverty if the person who has the children gets no financial support from their ex partner.
  • Children may lack a male role model (as most often the female gets custody of the children) and therefore not be socialised properly which according to the New Right may lead them to do badly in education.
  • Feminists might say that divorce is a positive thing for women and children as only men benefit from family life. They believe that female single parent families are better than nuclear families for women.
unemployment and benefits
Unemployment and benefits
  • Research the following:

- Job Seekers Allowance

- Income support

- New Deal


Employment rates

  • What impact do you think the benefits system has on levels of employment?
  • Why do you think employment levels are beginning to increase again?
consequences of unemployment
Consequences of unemployment
  • Social unrest – as people become detached from the labour market, and disillusioned by government, there is more likely to be riots etc.
  • Recession – more people on unemployment benefits and less contributing to the economy could lead to further economic problems
  • Increased crime rates – people out of work may become bored and commit more crime or commit crimes for financial gain etc.
age fertility rates
Age & Fertility Rates

More older women having babies because:

  • Women in less of a rush to have children/get married due to more equality in the labour market and putting careers first.
  • Fertility treatments have made it easier for older women to ensure that they have more chance of getting pregnant.
  • More divorces and remarriages mean women may not be rushing in to having children as quickly.
  • Less financial pressure as get older – cost of a child may put younger adults off.
what is the impact of this
What is the impact of this?
  • More young women within the labour force
  • Less ‘glass ceiling’ as women pursuing careers and postponing children