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5 October 2012
Regulation Matters: working for the welfare of children, comprises ANA (The Association of Nanny Agencies), BAPN (British Association of Professional Nannies), Chiltern College, Morton Michel, Nannytax, Norland College, REC (The Recruitment & Employment Confederation) and Voice: the union for education professionals.
Tricia Pritchard, Senior Professional Officer (Childcare) with Voice, who chairs the campaign, said: “We are calling for the registration of all childcarers in the UK, so that nannies and other home childcarers are brought under the same regulatory umbrella and are held to the registration standards currently required of childminders in order to safeguard children, improve childcare standards and create consistency in the childcare industry.”
The Campaign is launched following the recent report by Elizabeth Truss MP – the Conservative Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk, and now Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Early Years in the Department for Education – which called for the childcare system in Britain to be dramatically overhauled to make it more affordable, and the Childcare Commission's call for evidence and ideas on how to make childcare more affordable for working families and reduce any unnecessary burdens. The Commission is looking at identifying any regulation that is not needed to ensure safety or quality.
Tricia Pritchard said: “It is our understanding that the Coalition Government is looking to remove what it sees as ‘red tape’ and to effectively de-regulate provision where it can.
“We are extremely concerned that the driver for reform is cost cutting and not improved quality and safeguarding. The Government's main focus appears to be making savings on its investment of £7 billion a year on childcare support.
“It is our view that childcare is a safeguarding issue and therefore de-regulation of any kind would be a backward step. We would go further. We believe that the current regulatory framework should be widened to include nannies and all home childcare provision, and that no child should be put at risk by a cost-cutting exercise.
“It is ludicrous that the Government should be looking at de-regulating the services provided to the most vulnerable in society – babies, toddlers and young children.
“It is, of course, reasonable that governments should review provision, regulation frameworks and of expenditure, and it is for this reason, knowing that the childcare and early years sectors are under review, that we seek this opportunity to highlight the fact that: anyone can call her/himself a nanny;
s/he is not subject to any regulation or inspection (other than the Voluntary Childcare Register); and there is still no mechanism in place to stop a nanny from working with children and young people if s/he is found to be unsuitable.”