Hackney childminders petition against ‘unworkable’ proposed rules

Childminders in Hackney are up in arms about government proposals they fear will put children at risk and reduce their earnings.

A report by MP Elizabeth Truss for think tank Centreforum recommended that the numbers of children childminders can look after at once should be increased, from three children under three-years-old to five.

It also proposed childminders are registered and inspected through a private agency but those caring for fewer than five children are unregulated.

Hackney childminders put together a petition against the proposals they believe are “unworkable”. It states: “What worries childminders the most in Hackney is the safeguarding of children. Agencies are well known for putting profit before care.”

Jean Cooper, a childminder in Hackney for over 25 years, said: “It will damage the quality of care.”

She said many childminders will take on the maximum number of children because they need the money.

“It will mean minimum wage for maximum work and the only ones who suffer are the ones who need the care.”

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Stoke Newington mother-of-one Tamara Nelson said: “Childminders are professional and these proposals risk undermining their profession.

“I think it’s just a cost cutting exercise,” she said. “I can’t understand how these proposals are going to lead to better quality of care. My concern as a parent is that the ratios are going to go up.”

The report argues that the recommendations would halt spiralling costs, attract higher-paid staff, improve quality of childcare and make it more widely available.