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legal reasons why you cannot leave a child with non relative regularly

(78 Posts)
questionplease Tue 09-Sep-08 19:47:12

i remember reading that if you regularly leave a child with a non relative who is not a childminder or nanny, or nursery school, it is against the law, and you may be prosecuted. can someone clarify this for me please.

im a regular who has namechanged as i promised a friend in rl i would ask mnetters help, and if she reads this, then i will have outed myself. smile

harpomarx Tue 09-Sep-08 19:50:27

I have never heard this - sounds bizarre if it is true.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Sep-08 19:51:51

You cannot look after a child in your own home for more than 2 hours a day for reward of any kind. I think.

dilemma456 Tue 09-Sep-08 19:53:35

Message withdrawn

LIZS Tue 09-Sep-08 19:56:20

Care in child's own home is different to being in the caregiver's home. There are issues such as insurance, CRB, as well as potential quality of such provision on a regular basis.

Booh Tue 09-Sep-08 20:11:40

As who ever said, a child can not be looked after in someone elses home for more than two hours a day for any sort of reward (even if it is childcare in return)

The fines are very heavy if you get prosocuted (sp?) and run into thousands!

The law is in place to protect children being looked after by unregulated people, who are not CRB checked, insured etc

PinkyDinkyDooToo Tue 09-Sep-08 20:27:39

I had heard this. Does it mean that you could look after someone elses child with no reward at all. Just totally for free

TheInvisableManDidIt Tue 09-Sep-08 20:45:39

So only if it's in their own home?

My cm watches my children in our house. She's not registered (old family friend).

Bettyboobird Tue 09-Sep-08 20:54:30

Can I just clarify something, as I have never heard of this before...

If my dds' Godparents were to have them for us overnight in their home, and we gave them a bottle of wine or a voucher as a way of thanks, we'd be breaking some sort of rule??

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Sep-08 21:14:02


Occassionally is fine I think.

Surely? Or else that would be daft.

DaisySteiner Tue 09-Sep-08 21:20:58

Have there ever actually been any prosecutions of people who have swapped childcare rather than receiving payment? I personally think it's extremely unlikely that the CPS would actually bring a prosecution of this sort.

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 21:28:11

CPS might not but social services have put children on the at risk register when parents knowingly using unregistered care - usually with situations they were already unhappy about obviously hmm

Plus multiple prosecutions can prevent you from working with children in the future

It's not about having a friends child for a playdate, it's about regular 'can't go to work unless it happens' rewarded whether by money/wine/chocolate/favours

Overnight care is excluded as well hmm

MaureenMLove Tue 09-Sep-08 21:43:17

The rules are, QuestionPlease, anyone who looks after some elses child, for more than 2 hours a day, on a regular basis, for reward,is breaking the law. Like someone mentioned, the rules are there to safe guard both children and carers.

HTH smile

Hulababy Tue 09-Sep-08 21:44:35

So long as there is no reward - i.e. payment - it is ok. I checked it all out formally before I started looking after my godspn once a week.

Hulababy Tue 09-Sep-08 21:46:31

IIRR nighttime is different. Think after 6pm ok, and regular playdate between child friend is ok.

mabanana Tue 09-Sep-08 21:52:36

It only applies to children under eight though.

LIZS Tue 09-Sep-08 21:52:43

"reward" can also mean a reciprocal arrangement not just financial or tangible. Casual, irregular arrangements such as overnight stays or evening baby sitting are excluded

myjobismum Tue 09-Sep-08 21:53:49

it is a minefield - i used to look after friends DS 2 or 3 days a week for 8+ hours at a time so she could manage to work full time (she qualified for very little help childcare cost wise and was only earning just above minimum wage) i was however very very careful to NEVER accept anything from her though in form of payment, favours and rewards - a grateful friend and big thank you was always enough for me - this was fine by law, but as soon as you accept ANYTHING in return you are breaking the rules!

PuppyMonkey Tue 09-Sep-08 21:56:37

How can anyone PROVE you have paid them though... do they have social services and police waiting in cars to take clandestine photos of money changing hands in brown envelopes? It all sounds a bit hmm to me...

morocco Tue 09-Sep-08 21:59:47

probably, puppymonkey

wouldn't surprise me in the least

am very hmm about how it protects children but au pairs is ok, in your own home is ok, babysitters are ok etc. it's only if money changes hands that it becomes 'bad'. really just a tax rule tarted up as child protection? or general 'nanny state' interference (boom boom)

MaureenMLove Tue 09-Sep-08 22:00:54

If there's a registered childminder who finds out someone is caring for children illegally, trust me, they will do everything than can to catch them out and shop them.

Hulababy Tue 09-Sep-08 22:02:03

The reciprocal bit can be very different though. As I said, a regular playdate between school friends is ok apparently. So it is difficult to know where the boundary is.

myjobismum - I know what you mean. I ensure I accept nothing as a direct result of looking after my godson.

Hulababy Tue 09-Sep-08 22:03:22

MaureenMLove - that is dreadful isn't it? Reciporal arrangements have been in place for years and years between parents. Maybe it is time for common sense to be applied in some situations.

PuppyMonkey Tue 09-Sep-08 22:06:52

But if anyone shopped you, you could just say: "I don't pay her to look after my child."

And it would be very hard for anyone to prove otherwise if all parties stuck to the same story, wouldn't it?

Even if the FBI watched the supposed culprits 24 hours a day, would be very hard to prove that any money was changing hands.

geraldinetheluckygoat Tue 09-Sep-08 22:13:44

I agree with MaureenMLove, there is a lady who I think is illegally childminding round the corner from me , she regularly has 3+kids in her care. It irks me because as a childminder I work very hard, go to many courses in my own time, make sure my house is safe and now comply to the early years foundtion stage, which is a lot of extra work for me. To have someone doing the same job down the road without having to do all the extra stuff required (and not paying tax) frankly just pisses me off!! I am planning on reporting her. That may sound harsh, BUT imagine is she is not first aid trained and one of the kids she cares for starts to choke at lunch time. Imagine if one of the kids she cares for is being abused in some way and she fails to take the right action because she doesnt know what that is (or because shes afraid of being found out for illegally childminding). Its like others say, these rules, as annoying as they may seem, are there to protect the kids.

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