Campaigners issue warning over unregulated childcare and call for Ofsted registration for nannies
Friday, July 31, 2020
Using unregulated nannies to solve the childcare crisis could pose serious potential risk to children, a campaigning body has warned.
Regulation Matters (RM), which calls for the registration of nannies and regulation of nanny agencies, has launched a 10-Point Charter to secure the safety of all children cared for in their own home and ensure that all nannies deliver the highest standards of childcare for working parents.
RM is awaiting a response from children and families minister Vicky Ford addressing their concerns.
Tricia Pritchard, chair said, ‘Anyone can wake up one day, call themselves a nanny, go on Facebook, get a job and can be working the next day. It’s frightening. The nanny sector is not regulated in the UK and this could, potentially, pose a real threat to the safeguarding of children, particularly at a time when many childminders are not expected to remain in business and a significant number of nurseries are also indicating they may not be able to either reopen or accommodate the same number of families.’
She added, ‘At a time when the Government is desperately trying to encourage us all back to work in an effort to kick start the country’s economy, families will find themselves rushed to consider alternative childcare, including nannies. We fear they will be ill-prepared when they discover that anyone can call themselves a nanny and anyone can set up a nanny agency. Will they know how to safely navigate an unregulated sector and avoid the associated safeguarding risks already mentioned? This is a wide-open door for unsuitable people to gain access to children and young people.’
The campaigning body is calling on the Government to create a registration scheme for nannies, awarding them the professional status they deserve and a regulation process for nanny agencies, developing a quality kitemark resulting in a uniform set of high standards, safer recruitment, safeguarding and peace of mind for parents.
Ms Pritchard said, ‘There are an estimated 140,000 nannies in the UK, many of them working 45 hours or more a week. There is nothing informal about this kind of childcare. If they became part of the Compulsory Ofsted register, this would automatically mean that there was a huge pool of regulated childcare that working parents could access in the pandemic.’