Illegal childcare

BBC report here on two women police officers who were told they were breaking the law with their reciprocal childcare arrangement. That they were doing each other a favour has been interpreted as providing the childcare ‘for reward’ – something ruled out by the 2006 Childcare Act:

“Generally, mothers who look after each other’s children are not providing childminding for which registration is required, as exemptions apply to them, for example because the care is for less than two hours or it takes place on less than 14 days in a year.

“Where such arrangements are regular and for longer periods, then registration is usually required.”

Close relatives of children, such as grandparents, siblings, aunts or uncles, were exempt from the rules, [an Ofsted spokesoman] added.

This debacle seems to be underpinned by inconsistent views of the value of childcare: on the one hand, the state hasn’t gone far enough to recognise childcare as important work for which carers should be adequately reimbursed; on the other, that it sometimes is undertaken as paid work (by registered childcarers) causes these kinds of confusions in the application of regulations. Any thoughts?

7 thoughts on “Illegal childcare

  1. Completely and utterly mad. It seems to me that people lead more and more isolated lives, rather than living in supportive communities. It’s especially hard for people with children, who are now brought up by just two biological parents, and grandparents if they’re lucky, rather than being cared for by a community of people. This government legislation clearly makes it harder for people to rear their children with the help and support of their friends, which is a bad thing. Moreover, isn’t there rather a high proportion of harmed children who were hurt by relatives?

  2. Sorry, it’s not clear to me how the state hasn’t gone far enough to recognise childcare as important work for which carers should be adequately reimbursed is playing into this?

  3. This is completely and utterly absurd!
    It is curious that grandparents, aunts and uncles are exempt from this law. It is not as if a family tie somehow prevents abuse of children. Quite the opposite, I thought.

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