Monday, September 28, 2009

Are you licensed to look after your neighbour's children?

For you see, in Britain, you might be breaking the law if you aren't.

According to The Times, Two Police officers regularly looked after each others' kids while they were on shift work. A perfectly normal voluntary arrangement between parents, for mutual benefit, and the benefit of the kids who have parents willing to work odd hours, to help raise the family.

You might think the state would simply let this be, or indeed private citizens would think nothing of it. No.

You see in Britain, there is an insipid culture that frankly would not have looked out of place in the former German Democratic Republic (that's "communist east Germany" for the confused). A neighbour noticed this arrangement and tipped off, Ofsted. Ofsted? The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. It has existed since 2007, and of course how did Britain cope without it?

You see if you look after children, who you are not related to, for more than two hours, for "reward", you must have a licence. You need to have First Aid training, training in childcare (amazing how parents can manage without this!) and be checked as to whether you have a criminal record. Reward in this case was the reciprocal provision of the service. However, money, baking a cake or giving a lift would also be a reward.

Yes, you read right. You cannot look after someone else's children for reward without a licence.

So the vile Stasi agent style neighbour having contacted Ofsted resulted in an inspector coming to visit to ask questions.

THIS is New Labour, this is the Nanny State going yet another step into intruding into the private arrangements of citizens. It follows on from the law that requires anyone who regularly deals informally with children, whether visiting a school or giving lifts to kids to sports clubs, to be vetted not just for crimes, but suspicions by private citizens that someone is a bit weird. It should send shivers up and down the spines of most people. It has shades of the Orwellian vision Dr. Cindy Kiro shared with the Green Party, had for New Zealand families.

At what point do people stand up and say no. When parents have a door knock every year to interview little Sam and Sarah, asking them if they ever get hit, ever see daddy's penis, ever hear anything racist from mummy and daddy, ever see them put recyclable items in with the rubbish, ever see any books that confuse them, ever get scared of mummy and daddy, what they eat and drink, whether they exercise much, etc etc?

Meanwhile, do people think it's ok for the state to licence almost every arrangements parents have with other adults involving their kids?

New Labour’s Britain, with full consent by the Tories and Liberal Democrats, doesn’t trust parents to make judgments about who should look after their kids, but apparently you’re all meant to trust the state.

So when a registered, state approved person next rapes a kid, will the parents be able to sue Nanny State for failing to protect them? No, of course not. It is more intrusion, and no more responsibility.

Those providing childcare should not rely on the state to approve its workers. No. Parents should ask childcare centres to demonstrate they do criminal vetting of their staff, and provide references. Most parents will only entrust their kids to centres who prove their safety and care for the kids. To make this a state regulated activity is in effect to nationalise it. It says to parents, don’t worry, the state has vetted everyone, they are trained, they are ok.

It says to parents, don’t you make your own judgment, the state knows better, and more disturbingly, it says that the state has the right to interfere in any private arrangements you make with others. In short, you can’t be trusted. Everyone’s a suspect until proven innocent. What sort of country does that make it then?

3 comments:

Opinionated Mummy said...

That's horrifying. And terrifying that there are probably enough people in NZ to see that it should have a place here. Already we are having to put the young man who comes to play musical instruments to the kindy kids once a week - read: man, therefore must be child predator - through a full police check. Do I feel my children are safer? No, because it makes no bloody difference!

But then he's looked after my kids before. For about 6 hours.

What kind of irresponsible breeder am I, letting potential child abusers look after my child.

The only way around this problem is to remove all children at birth, microchip them, and then allocate them to a state approved facility. There should be no contact between parents and child(ren) to mitigate risk.

ZenTiger said...

Gob. Smacked.

Bureaucracy, when combined with Socialist ideology is a terrible thing to behold.

libertyscott said...

How does one even start to confront this? Do most people think "well I feel more comfortable with this", or are they just as outraged?

It is difficult to see any politicians standing up saying no, we will not treat all adults as guilty till proven innocent.

What appalls me is that it is well known that abuse mostly occurs within families, and that while most families have no such thing, the logical extension of this is to vet and monitor families. There are some common denominators in a disproportionate number of cases of abuse in New Zealand, they are low income, alcohol/drugs, single or itinerant parents, Maori, born to young parents and welfare.

In the UK, it is in areas of deprivation in broken families with single parents.

All this does is atomise families and people, making it ever harder to know neighbours and rely on each other, besides constant suspicion.