Udated factsheet dated 12th October 2012
Guidance from Ofsted (from their website)
If you care for friend’s children either in your home or any other home, you do not need to register with us as a childminder unless you are paid for doing this.
This factsheet gives more details about when you should or should not register with us, if you provide care for your friends’ children. It only applies to childminding. The arrangement set out below does not apply to other types of childcare.
If you do not need to register with us, you may still choose to do so by joining the voluntary part of the Childcare Register as long as you meet the requirements of registration.
Penny’s Personal Opinion
Some good examples are given to help people understand if they need to register as childminders or not when caring for friends children.
I have a couple of issues still though
- The first one is in relation to the number of children you can look after at once – because there is not a limit. So it would be possible for you to have three under fives and for your friend to also have 3 under fives – so that would be 6 under fives in your care – and there may also be a couple of school age children in the mix. How can that be safe or in the best interests of the children. Of course that is extreme circumstances – but it would be legal
- Protection for the person looking after the children. What if there is a serious accident and a child is injured or even killed – who will pay for any resulting court case?
- Same question but in relation to a child protection?
- Personally I would have like a requirement to undertake basic First Aid.
- Then there is the definition of ‘payment’ – I am struggling to understand why a supermarket voucher is regarded as payment but a bag of groceries is not. Or why buying chocolates, flowers or wine is regarded as a gift but a department store voucher is payment. It seems to me that these are very confusing criteria and therefore possible that people may not understand and unwittingly break the rules.
I am not against ‘friend arrangements’ and certainly I can see the sense in using a friend when you have a appointment with the doctor, or hairdresser or want to go to the gym or a recreation course at college, or for short over laps between parents shifts.
Maybe I am missing the point – but surely the two hour rule or going to the child’s own home as a nanny – would cover the circumstances of looking after friends children. In my opinion looking after a friends child in your own home for more than 2 hours is childminding – and therefore requires registration.The question of if payment is made or if it was a gift – really just clouds the issue.
However I must point out that my opinion is just my opinion and whether I agree or not – the law on childminding being friends should be followed and upheld at all times.