The two most important pieces of legislation covering home-based childcare are the Children Act (2004) and the Childcare Act (2006(. Children Act (2004) This influential piece of legislation arose from the Green Paper ‘Every Child Matters’ and identifies five outcomes for all children: * Be healthy * Stay safe * Enjoy and achieve * Make a positive contribution * Achieve economic well-being These outcomes should underpin all practice of a child minder.
Childcare Act (2006) This Act introduced the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum into England and Wales, and place a statutory duty on the local authority to work towards ensuring the five outcomes set out in the Children Act (2004) are being met. All home-based childcare providers are required to register with the regulatory body ( Ofstead) . The regulatory bodies in the UK all have similar registration requirements and regulations in place.
The regulations make sure that all home-based childcare providers follow the same structure of care, learning and development for children, which also apply to all other Early Years settings This structure is implemented to improve the quality and consistency of care in all Early Years settings and therefore also helps to create a framework for an important partnership – the partnership between parents and professionals.
This structure is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS – birth to five years old) which promotes children to learn through play; covers basic welfare requirements such as safeguarding children; making sure that people who care for children are suitable as well as the premises and equipment used; covers the learning and development requirements for children. It also promotes equality of opportunity for all children Regulatory bodies have systems and processes in lace to control the registration process and the inspections carried out on registered home-based childcare providers. They also have the power to investigate a complaint or concern raised against a childcare provider to make sure the welfare requirements are met. If it emerges that the necessary requirements are not met, regulatory bodies are in a position to take action against the childcare provider. All these systems are in place to ensure that children receive the best possible care in all the settings they attend away from their home.