Parents warned that illegal childminders operating in Hackney

Unqualified childminders have been working illegally in Hackney putting children “at risk”, and now parents have been warned to make sure their children’s carers are carefully vetted.

The Learning Trust, which is responsible for the borough’s education provision, issued guidance to parents after receiving “several” complaints from members of the public that unregistered childminders were operating in Hackney.

In one case, youngsters were left on their own to watch TV while the childminder went shopping.

All childminders are required by law to register, and must have insurance, a criminal records check, first aid qualifications, and be trained to help children learn.

Pippa Williams, childminding development co-ordinator at the trust, said: “By using an unregistered childminder, you could be putting your child at risk as the adult will not have been inspected, had a criminal records check or have insurance.

“A lot of parents don’t know that childminders should be registered so we are keen to get the message out there.”

She added parents shouldn’t be tempted by the cheaper fees offered by unregistered minders and said: “By using a registered minder, you may also receive financial help with the cost of childcare through tax credits.”

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The trust has issued a guide for parents on how to choose a registered childminder, which will be available at children’s centres, libraries and doctors surgeries.

• Have you discovered you were using a childminder who was not registered? Call Chloe at the Hackney Gazette on 020 8477 3774.