Outline the current legislation covering home based childcare, and the role of regulatory bodies
Below are the current legislations covering home based childcare: 1. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) The United Nations convention on the rights of the child is to promote all aspects for the care, development and education of children, non discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion, disability, language, ethnic/social origin, civil and political rights, economic, social, cultural and protective rights. Particularly relevant for home based childcare is Article 31 that states that all children have the right to relax and play and have the chance to join in a wide range of activities.
The Children Act (1989) The Children’s Act (1989) was introduced to clarify existing laws affecting children. This was the first time in the UK that children’s rights were acknowledged and highlighted parental responsibility. This act promotes to protect suffering children amongst other things. A key principle to cove home based childcare is that Local Authorities have a duty to provide services for children, such as child protection. 3. The Adoption and Children Act (2002) The Adoption and Children Act (2002) focuses on the changes to adoption law.
It also made some amendments to the Children Act 1989. In particular; section 120 clarifies the meaning of ‘harm’ to include ‘any impairment of the child’s health or development as a result of witnessing the ill-treatment of another person, such as domestic violence. ’ 4. The Children Act (2004 revised in 2006) The Children Act puts into practise the legislation ‘ Every Child Matter’ and is an exclusive legislation to childcare and early year’s services. The five Every Child Matters outcomes are 1. physical, metal health and emotional well-being, 2. protection from harm and neglect, 3. education, training and recreation, 4. contribution made to society 5. social and economic well-being. The act also ensures that there is sufficient childcare for working parents and a parental information service. The Childcare act introduced the Early Years Foundation Stage and the OFSTED Childcare Register. Childminders and home childcarers must ensure that children receiving childcare are kept safe from harm.
Childminders and home childcarers must ensure that they (or any person caring for children, or living or working on the premises where the childcare is provided) do not use corporal punishment. Childminders and home childcarers must ensure that they are present on the premises at all times when childcare is being provided unless for a maximum of two hours per day a childminding assistant is present and the parents of the child have given their consent for the child to be left with the childminding assistant.
Childminders must ensure that no person smokes, or consumes or is under the influence of drugs (including medication that may have an adverse effect on the individual’s ability to provide childcare) or alcohol on the premises at any time while childcare is provided, or in the presence of a child receiving childcare. Childminders and home childcarers must be aged 18 or over and childminders must ensure that any person aged under 18 caring for children is supervised at all times by a person who has attained the age of 18.
Childminders must keep and implement a written statement of procedures to be followed for the protection of children, intended to safeguard the children being cared for from abuse or neglect. Childminders must have effective systems to ensure that any person caring for children: is suitable to work with children, which must include obtaining an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check through Ofsted is of integrity and good character has skills and experience suitable for the work is physically and mentally fit for the work. Childminders and home childcarers must ensure that children’s behaviour is managed in a suitable manner.
Childminders must have a written statement of procedures to be followed in relation to complaints which relate to the requirements of the Childcare Register and which a parent makes in writing or by email. Childminders must keep a written record, for a period of three years, of these complaints including the outcome of the investigation and the action the provider took in response. Childminders must make available to Ofsted, on request, a summary of complaints made in relation to the requirements during the past 12 months and the action that was taken as a consequence.
Childminders must ensure the premises and equipment used for the purposes of childcare are safe and suitable and must undertake a risk assessment of the premises and equipment at least once in each calendar year. Childminders must ensure that all necessary measures are taken to minimise any identified risks. 5. Children and Young Persons Act (2008) This Children and Young Persons Act (2008) increases quality of care for children and young people up to the age of 18years old, ensuring every child’s voice is heard. 6. Coroners and Justice Act (2009) 7.
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 changed the laws on criminal justice. It applies to home based childcare in terms of the act making it illegal to own pornographic pictures depicting under-18’s participating in sexual activities, or depictions of sexual activity in the presence of someone under 18. 8. Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act (2009) The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 Bill influences the policy of school staff discipline to students, supervision for new teachers, qualification regulations, apprenticeships. 9. The Human Rights Act (1998)
The Human rights act (1998) incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK Law. Children are not specifically mentioned in this act yet they are covered by the legislation. Article 3 covers the rights of a person to be free from torture or inhuman treatment-authorities therefore can take preventative measures to protect a child at risk of harm. Childminders and home childcarers must ensure that they do not use corporal punishment. 10. Data Protection Act (1998) The Data Protection act (1998) protects sensitive data from being published without a person’s consent.
This affects home-based childcare in terms of any personal data (voice, photo or film) of the children needs to have consent from the parents/guardian before being published and the Childcarer is to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. 11. Police Act 1997 and Protection of Children Act (1999) The Police Act (1997) and Protection of Children Act (1999) change the routes by which employers can check whether an employee has committed criminal offences against children. Sometimes there is a suspicion that a person may have hurt/abused a child but insufficient criminal evidence for them to be convicted.
However, a check may confirm the view that the adult presents enough of a risk that they should not work with children. 12. Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) This act established a vetting and barring scheme. It prevents unsuitable people from working with children. A home-based childcarer must provide the local Safeguarding Children board / Child protection Agency telephone number on your Child protection policy. A copy of the document ‘What to do if you think a child is being abused’ is to be kept in your files.
Whilst it is not a requirement to do a safeguarding course, it does show good practise. 13. Sexual Offences Act (2003) 14. The sexual Offences Act(2003) protects children from offences such as Sexual activity with a child Causing a child to engage in sexual activity Engaging with sexual activity in the presence of a child Causing a child to watch a sexual act 15. The Education Act (2002) The Education Act (2002) enforces education institutes to ensure they carry out safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. 16. Equality Act (2010)
The Equality Act (2010) was introduced to clarify equality by joining pre-existing discrimination legislations into a single law. Within the early years childcare setting the equality act relates to sexual orientation, religion/belief, age, disability, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status. Ofsted regulates and ensures that this is enforced by early year and education providers. Ofsted inspect and grade the setting to ensure they are applying equality measures. Settings must consider how to include not only children but their parents and employees that may also be at risk of discrimination.
Health Protection Agency Act (2004) The Health Protection Agency Act (2004) has numerous functions in relation to health such as prevention of the spread of infectious disease. 18. Care of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations (2002) This act is to support workers’ exposure to hazardous substances. This may affect a home-based childcare provider if a staff member has been employed. 19. Special Educational needs and Disability Act (2001) The special educational needs and disability act (2001) protects a person from discrimination on the grounds of disability.
Home-based carers must make adjustments to services, provisions and premises so that disabled children do not suffer due to their disability prohibiting them. 20. Protection of Children Act (1999) The Protection of children act (1999) enforces that a list of individuals who are considered unsuitable to work with children be kept by the Secretary of State. 21. Code of Practice for First Aid (1997) The code of practice for first aid sets out the standards for First Aiders. This provides the legal regulations for health and safety.
Childminders and home childcarers must ensure that they have an appropriate first aid qualification. 22. Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations (1995) The Food Safety regulations (1995) is not currently applicable to home-based carers but it does show good practise to register with the local Environmental Health Department (The document from the Food Standards Agency is ‘Safer food, better business for Childminders’) 23. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) (1995) RIDDOR specifies which accidents are required to be reported Childminders must inform Ofsted of the following: any incident of food poisoning affecting two or more children in the provider’s care any serious accident or injury to, or the death of any child while receiving childcare any serious accident or injury to, or the death of, any other person on the premises on which childcare is provided any allegation of serious harm to, or abuse of, a child committed by any person looking after children on the premises (whether that allegation relates to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere), or by any person, where the allegation relates to harm or abuse occurring on those premises.
Code of Practice for the Identification and Assessment of Children with Special Educational Needs (1994 revised 2001) This code of practise provides practical advice to educational settings on the statutory duties to identify and make provision for children’s special educational needs. 25. Public Health (Control of Disease) Act (1984)
The Public Health Act (1984) states the need for exclusion periods for children with certain infectious diseases. 26. Education Act (1981) The Education Act (1981) ensure adequate safeguards, rights and duties in the education of children are integrated. Parents’ rights regarding their children’s education are also recognised in this act.