NSPCC wants tough new child care rules

The parents of an eight-month-old boy who died
from a severe brain injury after being shaken by his childminder
have joined with the NSPCC to propose a plan to protect children in
the care of childminders and nannies.

Earlier this month, childminder Linda Bayfield
was sentenced to nearly four years’ imprisonment for the
manslaughter of Joshua Osborne. Bayfield had previously appeared in
court on charges of assaulting a child and had eight complaints
about her methods of discipline, but remained a registered
childminder after a magistrates’ ruling. This information was not
made available to the Osbornes when they employed Bayfield.

The three-point plan includes proposals for
complaints to be thoroughly investigated and unsafe childminders
deregistered. It also suggests that childminders and nannies should
never hit or shake a child, even with parental permission, and
proposes that nannies, who are currently unregulated, should be
subject to inspection and registration by Ofsted.

NSPCC director Mary Marsh said that while most
childminders are caring and competent, Joshua’s death was not an
isolated case.

“Parents must be confident that a registered
childminder is a safe childminder and they must know who to turn to
when they have concerns. Making it illegal for childminders and
nannies to hit or shake a child, as with other professionals
looking after children, could save lives in the future.”

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