ANA us co-president Tracey McDermott said the organisation was keen to “work towards putting in place minimum national standards and guidelines for nannies and agencies”.
“We feel that any formal regulation of the nanny industry still needs to come under the existing in-home care funded scheme, as without the assistance of the government, it will make any childcare unaffordable for families,” she said.
“It would create more backyard care as families who cannot afford it will then turn to unqualified, inexperienced babysitters.”
Childcare Minister Kate Ellis yesterday declared “traditional centre-based care” was not the answer for every family and that parents needed more alternatives. Her remarks followed yesterday’s report in The Australian that Labor had opened the door to taxpayer-funded nannies, but wanted the sector to be fully regulated.
“I think it is a very, very long road to regulate nannies, but I think it is a road that we should be encouraging them to tread down,” Ms Ellis said.
“I believe no matter what form of care an Australian parent chooses to use, they should have confidence that that care has minimum standards, is regulated and has pretty basic features like police checks, which are a requirement that is currently not the case.”
The government yesterday announced the recipients of a 17 per cent increase in the number of in-home care and occasional care places across Australia.
But the ANA and the National In-home Childcare Association said this was not enough.
The government also announced the allocation of the first 300 centre-based occasional care places.
NICA president David Wilson said the present system should be extended to include “flexibility places” for shift workers.
Research showed that parents were reluctant to remove a “sleeping child in the middle of the night to drop the child into the local childcare centre”. “In almost all circumstances, the right and proper place for a child of tender years at night is at home in their own bed in the comfort and security of their own house,” Mr Wilson said. Read article here…