Regulatory bodies and current legislations
Ofsted is the office for standards in Education, children's services and skills. They make sure that people achieve excellence in care of children and young people. Ofsted assess children services in local areas and inspect services for looked after children , safeguarding and child protection. Ofsted's job is to check places that young people and children are looked after and the people who look after children and young people. They check to see if people are doing a good job in looking after children, if they are not they try to help them get better. Ofsted inspect children services e.g. childminders, nursery's etc. to see the standard of care for children, after there inspections they carry out a report of what they have found. All in all Ofsted's job is to make sure that all children and young people who are being cared for are safe, being looked after properly, to improve children's services, to make sure children's services focus on the interests of the children and young people, parents, adult learners and employers who use them and also to see that the services for children are efficient and effective.
Current legislations for home based childcare
Children's act 1989 – 2004
This act aims to improve effective local working to safeguard and promote children's well being. The act aims to ensure that welfare of children is paramount, working in partnership with parents to protect children from harm. The Act is intended to strengthen the child’s legal position; to give him/her equal rights, feelings and wishes, and to ensure children are consulted and kept informed. The Children Act aims to further improve children’s lives and gives the legal underpinning to ‘Every Child Matters: Change for Children. The act puts a duty on local authorities to make arrangements to promote co-operation between agencies and other appropriate bodies such as voluntary and community organisations in order to improve children's well being (where well being is defined by reference to the five outcomes), and a duty on key partners to take part in co-operation arrangements, it also makes sure that key agencies safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Childcare Act 2006
This is the first ever piece of legislation specifically on early years and childcare. The act places responsibility for childcare provision with local authorities, charging them with raising quality, improving delivery and achieving better results, it sets the legal framework for children from birth to 17 years. The act introduces the Early years foundation stage (EYFS) which brings together three documents, Birth to three matters, foundation stage and national standers for under 8's day care and child minding. The EYFS will support providers in delivering high quality integrated early education an care for children from birth to age 5. The act also lays out registration and inspection arrangements, providing for an integrated education and care framework for the Early Years and general childcare registers. The Early Years Register (EYR) and the General Childcare Register (GCR) provide a regulatory framework for childcare under the act. Ofsted regulates the two registers –the Early years register for people caring for children aged from birth to 31 August after their fifth birthday and the General childcare register for childcare over this age.
Every child matters 2003 (ECM)
Every child matters is a government publication that indicates national and local priorities for children's services and sets out outcomes. This document was given legal force in the children's act 2004, it also includes 25 specific aims for children and young people and explicitly relates OFSTED inspection criteria to the 5 outcomes. ECM consulted children, young people and families, they wanted the government to set out a positive vision of the outcomes they want to achieve. The five outcomes which mattered most to...