I was watching the local news tonight, and it turns out that the two policewomen banned from looking after each other’s children live in this area, so were interviewed on the show. They were doing each other a favour – job sharing and childcare sharing, in much the same way women in communities have done for time immemorial.
Recently however, the government decided that anyone undertaking childcare for reward, and that reward could be just reciprocal childcare, needs to be registered as a childminder. Which means being qualified in first aid, having your house inspected, having to keep records and having to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage. (I’m sure I’ve missed a few bits out there, but that’s the gist of it I think.) And as these two policewomen hadn’t done any of that, looking after each other’s children was breaking the law.
Funny how we don’t yet have to do that to actually have children, but rest assured, if the government could find a way to bring that law into being, they would. After all, they are trying to control pretty much ever other aspect of family life.
The two children involved are in nurseries now, and the women are considerably financially worse off. The taxpayer is going to be worse off too, as the women are applying for benefits to assist with the elevated costs. And the majority of ppl that I’ve spoken to about this think it’s ridiculous. I’m also betting there’s a lot of ppl reviewing their holiday childcare arrangements – situations where families take it in turns to look after friends children could fall foul of the same legislation if it’s on more than 14 days a year, and that’s quite easy to achieve.
So, is it reactionary to think that a mother ought to be able to choose a friend to look after her child? Is it dragging your heels to not want to have to go through an inspection system or teach to a curriculum that many early years experts think is utterly ridiculous and has no grounding in pedagogical research? Or has the government gone a step too far, in the same way that they have over the Badman home education review?
Because they have gone a step too far. The insinuations over a small number of cases where home education has been a factor in abuse and neglect are nothing more than insinuations, and even if there were a small number of cases, it is not proportionate or targeted to bring in an annual licensing system for all home educators in response to that.
Put it this way, approx 5 children drown in garden ponds each year. Does this mean we should ban them? Or inspect them for the correct safety measures and fine ppl, even those without children, if the ponds are not covered correctly in weight bearing meshes?
No, it doesn’t. Be far more sensible to ban cars tbh, as road accidents are well up there in the cause of death stakes, and we’d be able to breathe a lot better.
We can’t rule out every cause of accident and injury to our children. We can take sensible precautions, but the Badman review isn’t that, especially when it conflates welfare with education. Just the same as demanding two friends are registered and following a curriculum – that’s another conflation of welfare and education that shouldn’t have taken place.
I am not behind the times, nor am I alone in my defiance of these laws and proposals – it is the government that is hurrying too fast into an Orwellian future that we don’t need, didn’t ask for and don’t want. Time to take a step back, Ed Balls, and listen to the ppl who are telling you you’ve got it wrong.