Unpaid childcare arrangements to be exempt from Ofsted regulation

Unpaid childcare arrangements between friends will be legally exempt from Ofsted registration and inspection under new legislation the Government announced this week.

Unpaid childcare arrangements between friends will be legally exempt from Ofsted registration and inspection under new legislation the Government announced this week.
Children’s Minister Dawn Primarolo welcomed the move which will mean that from April this year, friends caring for one another’s children without payment are no longer included within the remit of Ofsted.
Primarolo said: "I am pleased that following a positive response to our consultation, and overwhelming public support, friends supporting one another with unpaid childcare will be exempt from the registration and inspection process. This amendment has been made to ensure that hard-working parents are not penalised for supporting their friends with unpaid childcare.
"Formal childcare from childminders, nurseries and children’s centres across the country provides an invaluable service to millions of families. It is right that we ensure formal childcare is of the highest possible standard and that this is backed up by thorough inspections by Ofsted to ensure every child has the best possible start in life.
"This move strikes the right balance between ensuring the quality and standards of formal childcare whilst protecting informal arrangements between friends."
Anne Longfield, Chief Executive of the charity 4Children, said: “4Children welcomes the common sense decision for reciprocal arrangements between friends to be exempt from Ofsted regulation and inspection. Parents need policy to go with the grain of family life and recognise the beneficial role that informal arrangements between family and friends play in help parents to strike a positive balance between work and family life.
“Despite improvements that have been made in childcare provision, balancing work and childcare arrangements is still a difficult challenge for most parents, particularly for those who work outside normal office hours. Many families now work irregular hours and shifts and for these reasons we would like to see childcare becoming more flexible and easier to access.”




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