Saturday, September 26, 2009
Two working mothers have been banned from looking after each other’s toddlers because they are not registered childminders.
The close friends’ private arrangement had let them both return to part-time jobs at the same company.
However, a whistleblower reported them to the education watchdog Ofsted and it found their informal deal broke the law.
This was because little-known rules say friends cannot gain a ‘reward’ by looking after a child for more than two hours outside the child’s home without agreeing to a number of checks including one from the Criminal Records Bureau.
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Although the mothers never paid each other, their job-sharing deal was judged to be a ‘reward’. Campaigners fear thousands of working families could be innocently breaking the rules by relying on close friends for informal childcare.
A Downing Street petition in protest at the treatment of the two mothers has already received 1,600 signatures.
Educational campaigner Dr Richard House labelled the case as ‘absolutely scandalous’.
This article was posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 5:40 am