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Childminders tell York MP Julian Sturdy of their deregulation fears
9:50am Saturday 18th August 2012 in News
CHILDMINDERS from York are lobbying against possible new Government rules which they say could put children’s safety at risk.
The York North Childminders met local MP Julian Sturdy yesterday to air their concerns and he has agreed to pass them on to the Government.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has commissioned work on the feasibility of alternative systems, but the news has prompted fears that roles, qualifications or inspection systems could change.
Members of the York group, which consists of about 15 childminders from around Rawcliffe and Clifton Moor , say they fear that if childminders are deregulated, then there would be fewer checks on people caring for young children.
Amanda Brigham, from the York group, said: “If this were to go ahead, the safety and development of children in the early years sector would be severely compromised.”
She said: “If we were deregulated, you would not need insurance and you would not need to be Ofsted-registered. It would mean anyone could work with children without checks.”
She said childminders should not be seen as a cheaper or less professional form of care, simply because they worked at home.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Sturdy said: “The safety and wellbeing of local children must always be paramount and parents need assurance that their child will receive quality care, whether this is provided by a childminder or nursery.
“I firmly believe that we also need to strike the right balance so that childcare providers are not restricted by unnecessary red tape. As such, I will be writing to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, to request that his Department works hand in hand with professions from the sector for the long-term benefit of parents, childminders and children.”
He said like countless parents across York, he appreciated the “tremendous skills and contribution” childminders could make and said it was a privilege to meet the York group.