The Nannyplus Blog

CREATION OF CHILDMINDING AGENCIES

February 28th, 2013

Creation of Childminding Agencies

ID-100132984One of the proposed childcare reforms set out in Elizabeth Truss’ speech last week was the creation of childminder agencies to relieve childminders of some of the burdens of setting up their own business, provide training and match childminders with parents. Parents would approach such an agency to match them with a suitable childminder nearby. The concept proposed is very similar to the existing system of nanny agencies which introduces nannies to parents in accordance with their required criteria.

ANA, the trade association that represents nanny agencies across England and Wales, believes that in general this is positive development which would offer parents more choice and would in combination with the raised qualification requirements to be introduced, raise the standard of quality of childminders. Any training for a childminder would have to substantially more than the current 16 week course which is all that I required at the moment. Nanny agencies are already set up to introduce nannies to parents as well as, in many cases, organise training for nannies, so rather than seeing this proposal as possible competition, this is a new opportunity for many agencies to incorporate another side of childcare into their business whilst maintaining high standards.

However the devil is in the detail and ANA’s members would want to see more information provided on how a fee structure would work between a childminder and an agency or even between an agency and a parent, especially as parents can already search on-line or at their Family Information Service and thereby avoid paying an agency fee. Furthermore, how would such agencies and childminders be regulated? What level of involvement would Ofsted have given it is already criticised for failing to be tough enough in response to parental concerns and complaints? How would standards and qualifications be maintained by childminders, are agencies supposed to monitor that as well? How would existing childminders who run their own business fit into this proposed scheme? Would there end up being a two tier system for those childminders represented by a childminder agency and ones that weren’t?

As a conduit for higher standards and qualifications, better monitoring and regulation, ANA is in favour of this proposal but a lot of detail needs to be clarified. As an opportunity for new business, this proposal is something that many agencies could incorporate within their existing infrastructure but further detail needs to be provided on where the funding for training and helping childminders to set up their own business would come from and how the fees would apply. It still remains to be seen whether this proposal will in fact bring down the cost of childcare for parents or just provide a further tier of childcare in this country.

Sarah-Jane Butler (ANA Non-Executive Director)


Vote and support the Campaign to increase Childcare Voucher Allowance

February 21st, 2013

http://blog.busybeesbenefits.com/2013/02/time-is-running-out-to-make-difference.html

This article provides a link to vote for the increase in Childcare Voucher allowances.  It calls on the Government to support an uplift from £55 per week to £75. closing date to vote is 21st March 13.  At the heart of the campaign is an e petition – click on the link below to sign. It will be considered by back benchers for debate if more than 100000 signatures are gained.

 

e-petitionon the HM Government E-petitions website

 


Taking your nanny on holiday……. read more

February 4th, 2013

Guidelines for taking your Nanny on holiday

It’s that time of year again…when we begin to think of Summer Holidays!
I am often asked for guidance on what Employers should pay their Nanny whom they are taking with on Holiday, and what extras are included and what the nanny should pay for herself.
For all those people fortunate enough to not be reliant on the English sunshine (!!), and who are travelling ably assisted by their Nanny or House Keeper, here are some important guidelines and points for discussion, as recommended by ANA. (www.anauk.org)

So – please consider the following, and make sure that you and Nanny are in agreement before the Holiday!

(Exact details will vary hugely depending on the demands of each family and what the nanny’s current working hours and duties are.)

  • The nanny’s salary as well as travel, food and accommodation expenses should be covered by the employer.
  • Salary – this should be, at the minimum, the same as they would be getting when at home, with additional hours paid for at an agreed hourly rate, which may also include a set overnight rate.
  • Establish what are the Nanny’s working hours.
  • At the same time, establish her entitlement to time off – Nanny cannot be on duty 24/7 for the whole time you are away…she will need a break in the day, and you should establish how many evenings off she can have, and how many she will be expected to Babysit.
  • Establish who is responsible for the children overnight – remember to factor in that if you have a baby, and she is the one to get up at night so that you can stay sleep, she really cannot then be expected to get the Baby / any other children up for Breakfast too!
  • Explain the type of accommodation available to the Nanny – will she be expected to share with the children? If yes, if in your Holiday home or Villa, does she have some kind of sitting room available to her? Or if in a hotel, will she be allowed downstairs with a baby monitor, or will she need to stay in the Hotel room?
  • Establish whether Nanny will have to pay for her own Travel insurance, or if is she covered under the family Policy.
  • Are there any additional duties you require from the Nanny over and above what she normally does for you as part of her daily routine? N.B. If driving to shops / beaches / supermarkets is required, check that she is happy to do so!

Please do remember that if Travel with your Family is part of the expectations of the Nanny’s position with you, it is advisable that this travel agreement, and the points above, should be discussed, and put into in writing within the initial Contract, prior to that Contract being agreed.

I hope all the above is of help to you.
Happy holidays!!


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