When I was linked to this story on the Daily Fail yesterday, I assumed that it had been exaggerated because after all it was in the Daily Fail. Right..? Sadly not, as the same story was also published by the BBC:
…the case of two police officers told they had broken the law by caring for each other’s children.
Ofsted said the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving “a reward”.
It said the women would have to be registered as childminders.
Now let’s just clarify this here. Two women working in LAW ENFORCEMENT – where I’m fairly sure you have to be CRB-checked and be generally sensible people – have been told that babysitting for one another in their own homes so that they can go to work without being crippled by childcare costs is a REWARD and therefore contravenes the Childcare act.
Let’s just run that one again. A mutual agreement – which sees two young children cared for by someone who they are close to, who is both a parent of a similarly-aged child AND who is CRB-checked & trained to respond to emergency situations – is a reward and they have now been told to cease this arrangement unless they register as childminders and succumb to inspection by Ofsted.
I… I don’t even know where to start on this one so we’ll go for ye olde favourite, responsibility.
What has encouraged me over the last 24 hours has been the anger displayed by other mothers, fathers and grandparents responding to this. I have personally been long concerned that this Government does not trust parents to make decisions for their own children, that laws are enacted with scant consideration to those it covers. Ludicrous rules enforced in the name of “Health & Safety” have left our children incapable of assessing risk for themselves or – for the most part – able to play naturally without inhibition or worry about breaking the rules. But – and it is a big but – what gives Ofsted the right to intervene in a situation that is common practice the length and breadth of the nation? Ironically, it turns out that if Mother A had taken Child A to Mother B’s house to care for the children there (and vice versa) it would have been a non sequitur because the role of the carer changes from childminder to childcarer
Of course, if those women had accepted their subservient roles and stayed at home with their children instead of working then there would be no issue. I mean, how very dare they desire to leave their children to go out to the workplace? The government provides tax credits to contribute towards the costs of childcare, isn’t that good enough for these Mothers? So I throw it open to you – do you think this action is fair and equitable? Or absolutely ridiculous?
I think I’ve made my feelings quite clear on the matter but just in case – Mr Brown, stop blaming the Mothers.