As a home based childcare provider there are legislations that I work to that are put in place to ensure your child gets the upmost care whilst in my care. There are many legislations, these are the ones I feel are most relevant: Children Act (2004 and 1989)
The Children Act 2004 amended the Children Act 1989 mainly in response to the Victoria Climbe inquiry. The Children Act 1989 was the first acknowledgment in UK Law of children’s rights encapsulated by the phrase ‘the needs of the child are paramount’. A set of aim led to the creation of the Children Act 2004. The main purpose was to give boundaries and help for local authorities to better regulate official intervention in the interest of children and to improve services for children and young people aged 0-19. This has come from the Green Paper ‘Every child matters’ and identifies 5 outcomes for all children i. Be healthy-enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle ii. Stay safe- being protected from harm and neglect
iii. Enjoy and achieve- getting the most out of life and developing skills for adulthood. iv. Make a positive contribution- being involved with the community and society and not engaging in anti-social behaviour. v. Achieve economic well-being- not being prevented by economic disadvantage form achieving their full potential.
Childcare Act (2006)
This introduced the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England. The EYFS framework sets out the standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage – the 31st August after their 5th birthday. It provides for equality of opportunity and make sure that every child is included and not disadvantaged for any reason. The EYFS creates a framework for a partnership between parents and professionals in all the settings a child attends. The framework is intended to provide a consistent but flexible approach to care and learning and ensure that whatever setting parents choose, they can be confident that their child will receive a quality experience that supports their development and learning. These are based around four themes:
i. A unique child – every child should be helped to become a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. ii. Positive relationships – children should be encouraged to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person. iii. Enabling environments – care and learning must recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
iv. Learning and development- recognises that children learning in different ways and at different rates and that every area of learning and development is interconnected and interrelated.
The welfare requirements of the EYFS set the standards that apply to all settings, the aim of this is to improve quality and consistency of care. The EYFS aims to provide:
Quality and consistency
A secure foundation
Equality of opportunity
There are seven of learning and development and the education programmes. The three main areas are: 1)
Communication and language
Personal, social and emotional development
Within these three areas the main areas are
The world around us-understanding the world
Expressive art and design
2) The early learning goals- which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all children should have gained by the end of reception year. 3) The assessment requirements- when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents.
Data Protection Act (1998)
This defines UK Law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. Its main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. It protects people’s fundamental rights and freedoms and in particular their right to privacy with respect to data, it prevents confidential and personal information being passed on without a person’s consent; in the case of children the consent must be given by the parents. Most of the Act does not apply to domestic use for example; keeping a personal address book.
Race and Relations Act (1976) Amended in 2000
This Act is in place to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of goods and services, education and public functions. Equality of opportunity must be promoted and settings should develop a policy which is monitored and assessed.
Education Act (1997)
This Act incorporates all previous Acts since 1944. Education Act (1981) – First official recognition of: parents’ rights regarding children’s education and special educational needs. Education Reform Act (1988) – National Curriculum introduced into schools. Education Act (1993) – Secretary of State required to publish a code of practice for children with special needs. Parents of children under two years have the right to ask for the child to be formally assed. It recognise the rights of parents regarding their children’s education and set a time frame on the legal process for identifying and assessing a child’s needs as set out in the Code of Practice.
As a home based childcare provider I must be registered with the regulatory body of this country to care for other people’s children in my own home. Regulatory bodies publish requirements, or standards and procedures that I have to meet in order to become registered. The regulatory body in England is OFSTED. The regulatory bodies have systems and processes to control home based childcare. These are: Registration- This covers checks on the childcare provider, other adults who live with them and the premises where the business is going to be held. It makes sure that the childcare provider meets the welfare requirements and learning and development requirements as set out in the Early Years framework. Inspection- Inspectors carry out checks on the service that is being offered and on the childcare provider once they have been registered. They produce a report which will be available to view on the websites of regulatory bodies and must be offered to parent. The childcare provider will discuss how they meet the welfare requirements. The general welfare requirements are: i. Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
ii. Suitable people
iii. Suitable premises, environment and equipment
Periodically the inspectors will inspect a setting to make sure the childcare provider is meeting the welfare standards or requirements. Investigation- If a concern or complaint arises an investigator may carry out an investigation in to the childcare service to make sure the childcare provider is meeting and complying with the welfare requirements. This is in addition to an inspection. Enforcement- If the childcare provider does not meet the welfare requirements or standards of the country, the regulatory body can take action against them.