1.1 The upmost importance to being a home-based child care provider is the children’s wellbeing. It is also paramount that I have a professional, open and honest relationship with the parents/carers and it is essential that we are able to communicate with each other. If it was the case that I had a family who had recently moved to the U.K my first priority would be to ascertain if they could speak and understand English. If there was no language barrier I would discuss the legislations in place and inform them that as a child-minder I have to follow legislations as acts of law and also explain the role of the regulatory body Ofsted to which I have to adhere to, I would also give them written information to support this. If the parents had difficulty with, or not much understanding of the English language or written English then I would enquire if there was a family member or friend that could help with the language barrier if this wasn’t an option I would try the internet (Google translation), but failing that I wouldn’t hesitate to find a translator as inclusion and anti-discrimination is of the upmost importance. Similarly if they had some understanding or could read English I would ensure that the legislations and regulatory body’s policies were put into writing for them. In all cases I would try my upmost to make the child feel welcome and secure and give the parents the reassurance they may need.
The role of the regulatory body
Ofsted is the regulatory body in England. Ofsted inspects and regulates the services of childcare providers. The role of these regulatory bodies is to ensure that children receive the best possible care in all the settings a child attends away from their home. The systems they have in place will also reassure parents/ carers who have to be able to entrust their child to an organisation or individual to look after. There are two different registers for childcare providers:
The Early Years Register: Childcare providers of children aged from birth until the 31 August following their fifth birthday must register on the Early Years Register. The Childcare Register: Childcare providers offering childcare to children older than those requiring early years registration but under the age of eight must register on the compulsory part of the Childcare Register The children’s act 2004 states that anyone that look after other peoples children in their own home must be registered with the early year’s directorate of Ofsted in England. The role of Ofsted is ensure that your home meet the legal requirements to provide a safe and secure environment where children are well cared for, safe and their learning development is positively encouraged, safe and to promote high quality childcare. This process also requires checks on the person providing the care and every other adult that live on the premises. This is to protect children and give reassurances to parents/carers that the person providing the childcare is suitable to work with children. The aims of the registrations system;
The requirements of a child-minder for registration with Ofsted are completion of an application form. An application to the criminal records bureau for an enhanced disclosure: for the child minder and other adults who live in the household. An Ofsted Registration fee is payable. A health check with their G.P is also mandatory to ensure a person is fit and healthy to look after children. A child-minder must have a current 12 hour paediatric first aid certificate which must be updated every 3 years. In England Ofsted require the following welfare requirements:
•Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
•Suitable premises, environment and equipment
Ofsted inspect early year’s providers to ascertain the quality and standards of the care, learning and development of children – these standards are in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Inspectors give providers one of four grades: outstanding, good, Satisfactory or inadequate. `To reach an overall judgement, inspectors will ask themselves ‘what difference is this provider making to the learning, development and progress of children in their care? ` (Ofsted) Once registered the certificate of registration must be displayed and be available for parents to view. A self evaluation form from Ofsted will be sent prior to an inspection, Child-minders are asked to fill in the form giving information about the setting and the views of those who use the setting, and asking themselves whether the children’s needs are being met with regards to feeling safe, achieving, and enjoying their learning.
Included in the forms, is questions covering the EYFS Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five. Ofsted inspectors will carry out checks on your child-minding services at regular intervals; you will be issued with a report setting out their findings. The report includes the description of the setting and the overall quality of the early year’s provision, the effectiveness of the leadership of the provision and any actions they feel you must take. This report will also be published on the internet and must be available for parents to view. Ofsted can take action against you if the national standards and other requirements are not met. All these systems are in place to ensure that children receive the best possible care in all the settings they attend away from their home.
Current legislation covering home based childcare.
Children’s Act 1989
This is the basis of the current child protection system in England and Wales. It’s the first acknowledgement of uk law of children’s rights. It established the needs of a child’s welfare are paramount. A child-minder needs to ensure that they meet a child’s needs as it is vital to their well being and must be suitable; as each child is unique and has individual needs. Amongst other things, the act legislates to protect children who may be suffering or are likely to suffer significant harm. Children’s act 2004
This was the name of the green paper produced in response to the Laming inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié in 2000. The paper lists five outcomes which were identified in consultation with children and young people, Every Child matters: Being healthy: enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle Staying safe: being protected from harm and neglect
Enjoying and achieving: getting the most out of life and developing the skills for adulthood Making a positive contribution: being involved with the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour Economic well-being: not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential in life. A child-minder must provide children with a safe environment, where they can learn and develop and be healthy. A child-minder needs to take children’s views seriously and take into consideration their opinions, and wishes as children have the right to be listened to Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act (2010) incorporates many key legislations already in place that prohibit discrimination i.e. sex discrimination act 1975, Disability discrimination act 1995, race relations act 1976. Etc. This act was brought in so everyone is treated equally, regardless of their sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or disability. A child-minder must strictly adhere to this policy and make it their home accessible and welcoming to everyone regardless. It is vitally important to promote equality and eliminate discrimination and to have in place a policy for this. This act aims to ensure that the rights of disabled individuals in the uk. A Child-minder must take reasonable steps to ensure that the setting is assessable to everyone and nobody should be refused because of difficulties assessing the service. It is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their gender. The sex discrimination act applies to men and women of any age, including children. A child-minder must not treat children any differently whether they are male or female and to ensure that toys, activities, books, games etc. will be equally available to any child regardless of gender and to make sure they are not stereotypical for example ‘boys play with cars and girls play with dolls.
It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their race, colour, nationality, religious beliefs, national or ethnics groups. A child-minder must at all times seek to eliminate any form of discrimination and make provisions so that the service is accessible to everyone regardless of race. An anti-discriminatory and equality policy should be in place which should be strictly adhered to.
Data Protection act 1998
It is essential that the confidential and personal data of an individual is not passed on to anybody without their permission in the case of children parental consent must be given. Parents need to be reassured that a child-minder will always keep information about their children absolutely confidential and will not share it with anyone else without their consent. The only contradiction to this is if there is suspected abuse of a child and this is the only time when confidentiality would be broken. Education act 1993
This act was bought in by the secretary of state, a code of practice for children with special educational needs were published. It ensures that every child should be treated equally and fairly. It secures an education of children with special educational needs. Children under 2 years have the right to ask for the child to be assessed. A child-minder must ensure they are able to accept children with special educational needs and disabilities and may have to have to have adaptions put in place this so this is accessible to everyone including parents who may have special educational needs or disabilities. Education act 1981
This was the first official recognition of parent’s rights regarding children’s education and special educational needs. Public Health (control of disease act 1984)
This act covers the notification and exclusion periods for certain infectious diseases. A child-minder must have knowledge of the various infectious diseases and to be aware of the signs and symptoms so they are better able to judge when to seek medical advice and when to contact parents. It is desirable to have knowledge of the incubation periods to help prevent the spread of the diseases. Protection of children Act 1998
This requires a list to be kept of people considered to be unsuitable to work with children. A child-minder and other adults in the house hold are required to have a CRB check to ascertain their suitability to work with children.
Code of practice for First Aid 1997
This gives guidance on the provision of trained first aiders and first aid provision. A child-minder is required to have a first aid box and first aid bag for travelling purposes, (supplies must be kept replenished) as well as a current in date paediatric first aid certificate.
Code of practice for the identification and Assessment of Children with special educational needs (1994) revised in 2001. This act outlines the responsibilities of Local education authorities and governing bodies towards children with special educational needs. A child-minder needs to be able to recognise signs that a child may have special educational needs and feel able to broach the subjects with parents. It is vital that any special needs are identified early and acted upon for the welfare of the child. Food safety Regulations 1995
Basic food hygiene
This is not compulsory for child-minders at present, but is considered good practice. Family Law act 1996
This act sets out guidance relating to safeguarding children. A child-minder must always be aware of safeguarding children and have polices and procedures in place and it is imperative that it is followed at all times. Childcare Act (2006)
The act lays out registration and inspection arrangements, providing for an integrated education and care framework for the Early Years and general childcare registers. It introduced the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England. The Early Years Register and the General Childcare Register provide a regulatory framework for childcare under the act. Human rights act 1998
Human Rights Act (1998)
The Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. Children are covered by this legislation although not specifically mentioned. A child-minder must ensure that all children have the right to be listened to, and their views and comments taken into consideration, they have the right be treated with dignity. They have the right to feel safe. Children should be treated equally and fairly.
This act specifies what kind of accidents and incidents that happen in the work place are required to be reported to RIDDOR. It is important that a report is made of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences. These regulations are made under the health and safety at work act 1974. A child-minder would have a duty to report any such occurrences.