Checks on suitability of persons working with children over the age of seven
Section 79W Requirement for certificate of suitability
213.This section enables regulations to be made to place duties, if certain conditions are met, on those who provide care for children aged eight and over for more than five hours a week, and who would otherwise not have to register under Part XA. Providers are required to hold a valid certificate for themselves and others on the premises (for example, employees or other residents) which demonstrates to parents that they are suitable to look after children. The regulations under this section may create certain offences in connection with the certificate. These will carry a fine of up to level 5 on the standard scale.
214.Section 79(2) gives effect to Schedule 3, which inserts a new Schedule 9A into the Children Act 1989 (see below). Section 79 (3) and (4) enable an order to be made setting out the scheme to transfer staff currently working for local authorities to the regulatory authority. Section 79(5) disapplies Part X of the Children Act in England and Wales. It will continue to apply in Scotland.
Schedule 3 Child Minding and Day Care for Young Children
215.Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 disapply certain schools or other establishments from Part XA. This means they need not be registered by the registration authority, although regulation making powers may require some schools to register in certain circumstances. Hospitals which care for children as patients are to be excluded from regulation, although on site child care provision (for example, a crèche for the children of staff), will be regulated. Premises which are used for day care for less than six days a year are exempted.
216.Paragraph 4 provides for regulations to be made as to the circumstances in which a person can be disqualified from registering as a child minder or day care provider or from otherwise being involved in the provision of day care. The precise grounds for disqualification will be set out in regulations. These provisions also apply to members of the household, potential employees and managers of day care businesses.
217.Paragraph 5 provides that contravention of the provision made by or under paragraph 4 is an offence unless one of the defences set out in subparagraphs (2) or (3) applies. The penalty for this offence is up to 6 months imprisonment, a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.
218.Paragraph 6 provides for certificates of registration to be issued to successful applicants. Paragraph 7 provides for regulations to be made requiring registered childminders and day care providers to pay an annual fee to the registration authority. Paragraph 8 enables the registration authority to ask for and receive assistance from local authorities in carrying out its child minding and day care regulatory duties.