Unwarranted government intrusion into family life.

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.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for ten years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

Comments

  1. This isn’t recent legislation. My DW & I discovered it a good 4 or 5 years ago when considering doing one of these reciprocal childcare things with a friend. It was daft then, it’s daft now.

    There was a similar case to this about 2 years ago, and some government official gave a list of reasons why it was absolutely essential, ending with – “Just imagine if it was your child and This Horrible Thing happened as a result!”

    I thought at the time, that has nothing to do with it.

    Imagine if you brought your new baby home and their father abused it! Does that mean all parents should be vetted before they can take their baby home?

    Imagine if your child crossed the road and got hit by a car. Should all cars be banned from the roads, or all children be banned from crossing them?

    Your child has a play date at a friend’s house. How many times a year can they go before the parents should be vetted to be allowed other children in their home?

    We cry that a particular piece of legislation is ridiculous, and They retort, but what if it were your child! Then They take another step slightly nearer into our personal space, we feel ever so slightly more uncomfortable, and round we go again. It won’t end until they have their arms wrapped so tightly round our children that we won’t be able to see them without registration, vetting, and monitoring to check we are reaching parenting targets and reaching predicted standard outcomes.

  2. Anna Washbourne says:

    Anyone who is ‘reviewing their childcare arrangements’ is a total fool. If no one obeys these regulations, they will not have any meaning. I guarantee you that every person in the UK is violating some law every day without knowing it. If you want to be free, you simply need to BE FREE and DO WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU.

    When we started Home Educating, we did not check first to see if it is legal; we simply started doing it. That is what free people do.

    Also, I think it is very wrong to call what these two police women were doing ‘childcare’ looking after a friend’s child is NOT ‘childcare’, it is ‘looking after a friends child’, has nothing to do with anyone, especially the government, and people should carry on doing it if they need or want to do it.

  3. There’s a childcare course too to do which took up about 20 hours of my life. I think total cost to get registered is about £200 all in and these policewomen should each qualify, continue their informal arrangements and claim childcare vouchers through work to pay each other. They will be better off.

    I think the law came in a couple of years ago. Some small voices of dissent were raised at the time it was proposed but not enough to change it.

    Bit like this current HE review stuff. It will be applied to the masses. Then the parents of under 5′s and schooled children as well as the apathetic Home Edders will express surprise and outrage. Then there will be a public outcry and the media will be saying how wrong it is.

  4. Yeah I was gonna say, this law has been around a while. I only knew about it because we were told on the childminding course. It’s the wording.. by saying “reward” it means reciporal arrangements are classed as “reward”, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous myself and again impinges on parental rights to choose what is best for their child. And surely those children are far better being looked after by a close friend than stuck in a nursery.. many of which are staffed by young girls who don’t really have much of an idea….and it’s a little naughty of me.. but those CRB checks and everything didn’t stop that nursery worker from abusing all those kids did it…..

  5. And I have to say I’m getting royally peeved off that the government trumpeting “Children have to be protected” to every dissent to their legislations.. the implication being dissenters don’t care about children being protected.

    According to an advert I saw online last night, apparently a child dies every day in the UK from childabuse…… seems to me the increased beaucracy is doing jack sh*t, and it’s time for a brand new re-think on the issue.

  6. sorry that should be “every week”, not every day.

  7. I had an arrangement with a friend when Maddy was less than 1. We did it without knowing anything was ‘illegal’ but i found out about half way through it that it fell under the childminding laws of the time. We just carried on. Maddy was happy there, mostly (and when it became difficult for her i stopped workking), whereas the day she spent at a local nursery, i subsequently found out she cried all day :(

  8. I think a lot of people are up in arms because they think “its only a CRB check” but its not. Its the curriculum, its the qualifications, its the modifications to your house etc etc. My friend CMs and she is forever on a course for this that and the other and is having to do qualification after qualification to maintain her registered status. Her garden is covered in safety matting, she has locks on everything, she has to have fire exits and detailed plans for (it seems like) everything and she has to maintain rigorous records including a home contact book. Two people doing each other a favour do not want to be doing all that! I have already passed the info on to another friend who often does this kind of share in school holidays with her friend who works in the same place. Tongue in cheek I’m wondering if the reward of peace and quiet my neighbour and I get when the kids are in one or the other houses qualifies ;D

  9. This has been the case in Scotland for at least 10 years, and I have happily ignored it for all of that time :-)

  10. littlepurplegoth says:

    And they are not going to reclassify ‘reward’ to exclude these sort of reciprocal arrangements, or to specify reward to mean an actual thing or finances; because that would mean that they had to accept that definition wrt the benefits, job seekers allowance etc. system as well (as that is where this definition of ‘reward’ has been taken from ).

    Definately been the case for the last 10ish years though, I seem to recall that the change to make registration compulsory ‘where care is given for reward’ is buried in one of the many bits of legislation where they hid all sorts of other things that had little to do with the title it was given…

  11. Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

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