Members of the ‘Regulation Matters Campaign’ met today with Shadow Education Minister, Sharon Hodgson MP, to discuss concerns relating to the Home Childcare Workforce, in particular, nannies, who currently fall outside all childcare and early years legislation and get no mention in today’s Government announcement ‘More Great Childcare’.
At the meeting Ms Hodgson appeared shocked to learn that:
- Anyone can call him/herself a nanny
- S/he is not subject to any regulation or inspection (other than the Voluntary Childcare Register)
- 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
The fact that today’s announcement made by Liz Truss does nothing to address this seems all the more shocking and it wasn’t lost on Ms Hodgson that Mrs. Truss admits to having 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 gift of the rich and famous / the well to do. There is 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 will have been looking to hear from government that ALL childcare provision will be delivered by highly trained, professionals but, those who choose to employ a nanny will have heard nothing yesterday guaranteeing the same 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 possibly an untrained, unregulated person who, if found guilty of bad-practice would not be subjected to any inspection / 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”, and Samantha Beere, Senior Partner, Morton Michel said “We were encouraged by Sharon Hodgson who seemed to take a measured view and demonstrated a quick grasp of the possible creation of a two tier childcare and early years system should Liz Truss’s proposals go unchallenged”.