The Nannies Matter Campaign wrote to the Department of Education and Vicky Ford – MP for Chelmsford, Children’s Minister – in June and July 2020 to express the urgent need of regulation of Nannies working in home-based settings. Ms Ford sadly did not respond, but a representative from the Early Years/ the Department of Education did.
The first response to us was extremely poor and so we went back again, and this time we got a very negative detailed email back explaining why the Government refuse to regulate Nannies.
Extracts From The Response
“We believe that introducing a compulsory regulatory system for this kind of care in a child’s own home – similar to Ofsted regulating early years childminders and nurseries (as proposed in the UK Nannies Matter Campaign) – would have a significant impact on both the ways in which nannies operate and the choices that families for whom they work can currently make. In short, it would be too intrusive into family life.
We do not believe it would be appropriate to introduce a statutory registration and regulatory system for all nannies in England in order for nannies to be employed privately by parents to provide care to children in the parents’ own home. We believe it is right for parents to have the choice to organise private childcare arrangements if they wish to do so and to be able to determine how they arrange and supervise that childcare in their own home without bureaucratic levers.
Parents continue to be responsible for making all the arrangements for payment of income tax and national insurance contributions for those they employ, and responsibility to formalise working arrangements (including checking whether the nanny holds any specific skills or qualifications that the parent may want them to hold) and to organise security checks rests with parents as they are the employer and remain the sole arbiter of quality and safety of childcare in their own private homes.”
Our Thoughts and Proposal
Whilst we understand their reasons, we do not agree with them. They have tried to push the responsibility onto families. They also used another excuse that they would use the same Ofsted regulation and inspection they use for schools/nurseries and childminders, which we all know would not work for Nannies, so a separate system would need to be set up, which they refused to even suggest. We also assume, due to the lack of funds they refuse to inject into the Early Years sector, this will also be a factor.
So therefore, the Nannies Matters Campaign would like to propose a Home Based Childcare Register, where Nannies will have a minimum requirement to be able to work in the home as a Nanny.
This Will Achieve
1. Assurance to parents that Nannies applying for home based roles, have a minimum knowledge and checks to be able to look after children.
2. Safeguarding of all children in England being looked after at home.
3. A minimum standard of care, in line with childminders and Nurseries, making the Early Years consistent.
4. An acknowledged status of Nannies that have taken the time to adhere to the minimum requirements, encouraging a trend of professionalism, contracts and working rights within the profession.
The Nannies Matter Campaign will take this next proposal to the Government over the coming months. I am sure they will refuse this too, but we will keep asking.
For the meantime, we ask you, Nannies, to keep working hard, keep doing your CPD courses to develop yourself and maintain your standards, retaining your DBS checks and First Aid courses, and stand up and be proud of being a Nanny.
Together Nannies are stronger, and together we can build a workforce to be recognised and respected.
The Nannies Matter Campaign Team October 2020 #NanniesMatter