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Making sure your childcare provision is safe

Dec 19, 2020

Hi everyone! My name is Rachael and I am the founder of UNAnannies. 

Today, I'm going to share with you through this blog a little bit about safety and what to be looking out for when you're trying to find safe childcare. The very first thing you need to be aware of when you're trying to find childcare is identification. So, if you're finding childcare through sites like childcare.co.uk, care.com or other similar sites; if you're using an application in finding childcare through Facebook, it is so important that you're asking the nanny, childminder, or childcare provider you're in contact with to provide a form of identification to prove that they are who they say they are. 

I'm sure we all know with the great wide world that there is a darker side to social media and the internet, and people can impersonate other people. That is why it's really important that you're asking for a driver's licence, a passport, or even a utility bill that can prove that this person is who they're claiming to be. This should be done before you leave your children with them.

The second thing you should be looking for is a DBS. This replaced the CRB, which was the Criminal Record Bureau check, a few years ago. The kind of DBS you should be looking for is an enhanced DBS check. This is now also registered with an update service. The update service is updated every 30 days so that if any criminal offence is committed within those 30 days, it's updated onto that system and flagged. 

The annual fee for this service is paid by the childcare provider. Any DBS that is not on the update service is usually valid for three years. Obviously during that time, they could commit an offense, and you would not be notified about it. You need to ensure that your childcare provider is on the update service, and that you are actually checking to make sure that somebody's safe. Then, there's no criminal offenses in there, and that they're okay to be working with your children. 

Number three is insurance. This is making sure that your childcare provider is insured to be doing the job they're doing. Not only does this protect your family, but it also protects the childcare provider. Investing in somebody who understands the importance of protecting themselves legally is somebody who's going to take great care of your children. 

Again, don't be nervous or worried about approaching your childcare provider and asking for a copy of their insurance details or a copy of their documents. Any childcare provider who has these and is working professionally within the industry should be more than happy to hand over a copy of these to you. 

Number four is a paediatric first aid certificate. This is the first aid certificate that's specific to working in paeds or with children. It's specific to working with young people and understanding the difference in first aid between performing that on an adult and performing that on a child. These again are something that should be updated annually and you are well within your rights to ask for an updated certificate that is valid and to be checking this. Again, I can't stress to you enough how important it is to get these checks done before you are leaving your children with this person.

There are some cases where certificates last three years, and that person is required to do a refresher course. Again, they should receive an updated certificate once they've taken part in their refresher course. So, don't be afraid to ask for this and check that they're valid and in date. 

Finally, just to recap, the top five things you should be looking at in order to find safe and appropriate childcare are identification, DBS, insurance, paediatric first aid certificate, and references. Asking for all of these things won't necessarily mean that you find the right and appropriate childcare. However, it will minimise the risks that you're going to face while you're completing your search. If there's anything we can help with, contact us at unanannies.com. Thank you! 

UNA
Rachael Coates
unanannies.com

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