Nursery staff now face the same “shameful” conditions that strikers successfully battled against nearly four decades ago.

As of this month, the minimum staff-to-child ratios in England has increased from 1:4 to 1:5 for two-year-olds in early years settings.

In 1984, nursery workers in Islington waged a four-month strike against the same proposal, and their collective action ensured a ratio of 1:4 in the borough – until now.

Neil Leitch, CEO of the Early Years Alliance, an educational charity, claimed it was “a shameful decision”.

One of the original Islington strikers, Julia Manning-Morton, said: “We were fighting for better conditions for the children in our care as well as for ourselves. That’s just as important today as it was then.

"Like many nursery workers now, we were some of the lowest paid workers in the borough. We linked up with the miners, who were also on strike at the time.”

Former strikers will gather to commemorate the strike on Saturday (September 9) at London Metropolitan University.

The free event will start at 12pm in The Henry Thomas Room – places must be reserved in advance.

In July, a Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said: “We are proud of our exceptionally high quality of our early years system, with 96% of providers rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.

“We are increasing the rates paid to providers to deliver free hours so that we can maintain and increase quality as we roll out the largest ever expansion of free childcare in our country’s history.”