Why Regulation Matters

The Regulation Matters Campaign aims to bring nannies and other home childcarers under the same regulatory umbrella and ensure they are held to the same registration standards currently required of childminders in order to safeguard children, improve childcare standards, and create consistency in the childcare industry.

Regulation Matters is working for the welfare of children by ensuring quality in early years care for the benefit of children and their families. This campaign aims to secure formal recognition for the valuable service provided by all home childcarers, particularly nannies.

See our strapline: No longer the invisible professionals

Regulation Matters believes strongly that no part of the early years workforce should be outside regulation.

  • Nannies are not required to be registered or approved by any statutory body

  • Nannies do not have to be a qualified childcarer

  • Any person can seek work as a nanny

Regulation Matters has carried out significant research over time and has spoken with numerous nannies to establish their views. Most nannies believe their voices struggle to be heard.

There are thousands of nannies who are treated well by their employers, they feel valued for their unique contribution. However far too many nannies consider themselves an afterthought when it comes to being seen as a professional practitioner by this government, previous governments, and from within the wider childcare and early years workforce.

All the surveys and consultations carried out by the Regulation Matters Campaign over the years, have revealed a dedicated but demoralised workforce. On the whole, nannies tell us they love their job, but feel undervalued and concerned about pay, recognition, long hours, and work-related stress.

The majority of the nannies we’ve recently consulted with agreed or strongly agreed that they loved their job, yet more than half felt undervalued. The number one concern shared with us is about pay, many nannies are still receiving little more than the National Minimum Wage, and many confide that they are dependent on a second job to make ends meet. This puts enormous pressure on these nannies both mentally and physically.

The second most pressing issue nannies tell us about is the excessive hours they are required to work. So many nannies have told us that they constantly worked unpaid overtime, the vast majority of whom feel forced to do so as a result of increasing workload.

Registration and regulation are a means to better treatment, terms, and conditions of employment.

Should nannies be worried about being registered and regulated?

Absolutely not.

Registration and regulation is designed to protect everyone and would enable nannies to gain the recognition currently lacking. While the government is completely opposed to introducing legislation to support a formal registration process, and of course we shall continue lobbying for a change in policy, the Regulation Matters Campaign is pressing on with developing and working towards a self-regulatory framework. The ultimate aim being that the sector develops and works within a standards framework we’d wish to ultimately see legislated for.

Training and development

Lack of access to affordable, flexible training and development is a significant concern for many nannies with so many telling us they are worried about the lack of CPD. The lack of formal training and CPD opportunities for nannies already working as nannies is, we believe, a major factor when we look at and try to understand why nannies do not enjoy the level of respect they so rightfully deserve from their colleagues working elsewhere in childcare, and why levels of pay vary significantly. Both fuel the wrongly held view by some that “anyone can do the job”, “it’s not a proper job”, “it’s little more than babysitting” and “it’s not a recognised profession”

Nanny Agencies

By far, the vast majority of nanny agencies are professionally run and consistently go above and beyond what is expected of them to look after their nannies and ensure they are correctly matched with vacancies and correctly employed by parents aware of their legal obligations as an employer. They are meticulous when it comes to checking the nanny is who they say they are, that their documentation and right to work in the UK are correct and up-to-date etc. They provide employers with advice, support, and template documents enabling them to “get it right first time”. However, there is a significant minority who, because regulation and standards of best practice are lacking, do little to ensure the safe employment of nannies, the safeguarding of the children cared for by nannies, or to assist parents - often employers for the first time. That’s why the Regulation Matters Campaign also calls for greater registration of nanny agencies and why we work with the sector to establish sector standards that hopefully all nanny agencies will aim to achieve and work comfortably within.

The way forward

With the government seemingly little interested in nannies, even with the heightened media attention on home childcare during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Regulation Matters Campaign does what it can to fill the gap.

We have launched our updated website; we have increased our social media presence and we have reached out and secured the involvement of many more supporters - all to raise the profile of the nanny profession, the work, aims, and objectives of the Regulation Matters Campaign and the lobby for change.

We are strengthening our Management Sub-Groups. These sub-groups have been formed to further our campaign and to move a self-regulatory framework forward.

We currently have 3 Management Sub-Groups:

· Nanny Training & Further Training

· Nanny Agencies

· Practitioners

Each carries out developmental work in support of the Regulation Matters Campaign and aims to establish guidance and opportunities for nannies and nanny agencies, setting minimum standards.

Details of their work, outcomes, and recommendations, will be published later.

The Regulation Matters Campaign has worked on professional standards and professional development for nannies and nanny agencies for some considerable time and alongside some of the leading organisations and associations in the sector. We are central to the work and discussions taking place within the childcare and early years field on nanny registration and the regulation of nanny agencies. However, it’s important to point out that a campaign for change can take many years and have a number of setbacks. Indeed, the regulatory framework childminders now work within took several years to develop and is still evolving.

The campaign for nanny registration and the regulation of nanny agencies presses on and no doubt has many challenges to overcome. If you would like to assist our efforts by joining one of our above Management Sub-Groups please email us at regulationmatterscampaign@gmail.com for more details.