Currently, there are over 20 pieces of legislation governing home-based childcare. However, the most significant are the 4 summarised below:
Children Act 1989
* children’s needs come first- they are paramount
* first Act to put these above the parents’ desires, should there be a conflict * parents are central to child’s life & their role is life-long * childcarers must not undermine parents’ roles & responsibilities, but acknowledge these & honour wishes where feasible
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) This is universal acknowledgement of children’s rights in 54 ‘articles’ i.e. majority of countries have signed up to this. The following articles are particularly important & relevant within a Childminding setting:
* children have a right to be protected from all forms of discrimination (article 2) * children’s best interests must be put foremost in relation to all activities & actions undertaken (article 3) * children have a right to life, good health & survival (article 6) * children have a right to a registered name, nationality & to know & to be cared for (where possible) by their own parents. Children should have complete access to recreation & play which serves an educational purpose i.e. ‘children’s work is their play’ (article 7) * children should not be estranged from parents except for reasons such as abuse or neglect i.e. unless in the child’s best interests (article 9) * children have a right to input into decisions being made about them & have this honoured * governments must ensure children are protected by caregivers & providers & intervene where necessary to rectify i.e. in the event of abuse & neglect (article 19) * disabled children should have special care so that they can lead full & independent lives (article 23) * children must achieve the...