Nanny Registration

Voice renews calls for nanny registration

Voice has renewed calls for a compulsory national register of nannies.


Regulation Matters: new campaign group launched (October 2012)


Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA): “Online nanny lottery puts children at risk”  (June 2011)

Ofsted and nanny registration (April 2011)


Voice Blog: Registration of nannies (22 April 2010)


Call to action

Date: 01.01.10

Article on nanny registration by Tricia Pritchard, Child Care, January 2010

 

It is surprising how the importance of a very large sector of childcare is so widely ignored by government, underestimated by much of the early years sector, and taken for granted by many of the parents who rely so heavily upon it.

Home childcarers, or nannies to you and me, must have one of the most difficult jobs within the early years field.  Practitioners work mostly in isolation, for unacceptably long hours and, for many, for little more than the national minimum wage.  They are required to be substitute parent, teacher, nurse, playmate, chef, cleaner, minder and even parent’s personal assistant.   

It is widely accepted that children benefit most from one-to-one care and attention, and that a professionally qualified, experienced carer can only enhance the young life experience of the child/ren in his/her care.  Why is it then that the majority of us appear to consider the role as little more than glorified babysitting?

For more years than we care to remember, Voice has campaigned for nanny registration and greater regulation of nanny agencies – not only because we believe that all those working with children and young people should be required to work to the same high standards and be subject to the same rigorous inspection regimes, but also to raise the professional profile of the home childcarer.

Education, early years and childcare work very much in partnership these days and so it makes no sense not to afford equal importance to all the staff working across these sectors.  Teachers, school support staff, nursery nurses, childminders and nannies are all key workers in a child’s education, well-being and development – one cannot be effective without the other.  We live in a time when home life can be fragmented like never before and this makes the whole education / childcare "team" the one stable influence in many children’s lives.

Over recent years, the Government has quite rightly focused very much on childcare and the early years and has introduced some far-reaching and welcomed measures to improve the qualifications of the early years workforce, improve inspection, monitoring and mentoring, and has succeeded, for the most part, in making early years care and education accessible and affordable.  This has resulted in an increase in the numbers of working parents, particularly mums, and an increased demand for varied, high quality childcare provision.

However, we are still not seeing an improvement in overall choice.  Parents wishing to opt for home childcare often face unnecessary barriers.  Currently it is almost impossible to receive childcare vouchers, for example, if you are intending to employ a nanny.  If you are wanting the reassurance of registration and regulation, you won’t find either if employing a nanny – at best s/he may be on the Voluntary Ofsted Register but, without the quality measures attached to all other Ofsted registered provision, it is our view that a voluntary scheme is absolutely worthless.

Many parents now require a mix of childcare provision, including early morning before school, all day, school hours, after school and early evening.  This is not available to them in many areas without the use of nannies.  Nannies must, therefore, be brought into the established, recognised early years sector so that parents have "total" choice, enabling them to successfully combine a career and family life. Employers retain the workforce they want without having to lose highly skilled staff once they become parents, and children continue to get the mix of experiences on offer from a "true" mix of quality provision.

We would like to call on the support of teachers, nurses, social workers and the like who regularly use home childcarers, without whose support their own careers would be detrimentally affected.  We need support for our campaign for recognition for nannies, including registration and regulation, which we believe would ultimately result in a better trained and better paid home childcare professional, one considered and respected as part of the ‘whole team’.

If you would like to offer your support, we would request that you write to your local MP, the DCSF and, of course, to us in Voice c/o Tricia Pritchard, Senior Professional Officer.  You never know, such a change may well result in your life becoming easier!


Contact:

Senior Professional Officer, Tricia Pritchard
Email: triciapritchard@voicetheunion.org.uk.

Blog: Nanny Registration