Smacking ban for childminders

Childminders will not be allowed to smack children in their
care, or to smoke in front of them, under  new standards to be
issued by the government.

The Department for Education and Skills today announced that the
new childminding and day care standards which would bring
childminders into line with other day care providers will also
allow childminders with appropriate training and experience to look
after more than one child under age one.

 It cause great controversy and concern when the professional
standards introduced in 2001 banned smacking and smoking in all day
care settings but allowed childminders to smack or smoke in front
of children, if they had written consent from parents.  The move is
part of the government’s strategy to build a childcare
workforce capable of meeting the demands of its own policy agenda.
Consultation will take place in the early summer on the detailed
regulations on the proposed changes, which will be introduced from
September 2003.

Cathy Ashton, minister for Sure Start, said the government was
considering registering nannies though she said there are no
immediate plans to do so. She said, “Having listened to
parents and childminders associations, we have decided to bring the
standards for childminders into line with other childcare
professionals. It makes sense that all professionals looking after
children are subject to the same rules and that parents have access
to the same consistent standards whether their child is looked
after by a childminder or at a nursery.

“It is important that we acknowledge the professionalism
of childminders who do such a valuable job in supporting our
children by giving them standards equal to those of other childcare
professionals. This will raise the status of childminders, which in
turn will help us recruit more and help parents to access good
quality childcare.”  

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