Regulation Matters

The item below is based on a Press Release from VOICE. Twenty years ago there was a combined campaign for the registration of all child care workers. When the General Social Care Council was set up, it was decided to hold the campaign in abeyance. In the event, the GSCC registered social workers, but never got round to registering child care workers, and the GSCC has been subsumed into the Health and Care Professions Council. So a campaign has been restarted to argue for the registration of child care workers, and especially nannies.Members of the Regulation Matters Campaign met Shadow Minister for Children and Families Sharon Hodgson MP on 29 January 2013 to discuss their concerns about the home childcare workforce. The campaigners are particularly concerned about nannies, who currently fall outside childcare and early years legislation and were not mentioned in the Government’s announcement on its childcare plans, More Great Childcare.

They advised Ms Hodgson that:
• anyone can call him/herself 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.

Tricia Pritchard, Chair of the Regulation Matters Campaign and Senior Professional Officer at Voice, the union for education professionals, which represents nannies and other childcare professionals, said:

“The fact that More Great Childcare does nothing to address the issue of home childcare is alarming. We hope that Children’s Minister Elizabeth Truss will be receptive to our campaign for all childcarers, including nannies, to be registered. We understand that she has employed a nanny to care for her own children.

“We are extremely concerned by the Government’s failure to listen to the childcare and early years sector. Nannies are no longer the preserve of the rich and famous. There are a growing number of parents looking for flexible, affordable, reliable childcare in their own homes – ordinary parents looking to combine a career with family life.

“These parents want all childcare provision to be delivered by highly trained professionals, but those who choose to employ a nanny heard nothing yesterday guaranteeing high standards across the board.

“Sharon Hodgson MP was extremely supportive and invited the Campaign to make a submission to the Labour Party’s Childcare Commission. She also expressed support for a national awareness campaign, alerting parents to the dangers of leaving their children with a person who could possibly be untrained and unregulated and, if found guilty of bad-practice, would not be subject to any inspection or investigation and would not, under current legislation, be prevented from working with children.”

Chris Lawrence, a member of the Regulation Matters Campaign and Principal of the Chiltern College, said:

“It is extremely disappointing that such a significant part of the early years workforce has again been ignored.”

Samantha Beere, Campaign member and Senior Partner at Morton Michel, said:

“We were encouraged by Sharon Hodgson, who demonstrated a quick grasp of the issues of the Regulation Matters campaign, and was concerned about the lack of awareness of nannies being the only unregulated members of the UK childcare workforce.”

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