Nannied children ‘face Baby P risk’

By Alex Stevenson

Children who are looked after by nannies are being neglected by the government because of a lack of regulation – risking another Baby Peter case – it is being claimed today.

James Tweed of Childcare Matters consultancy will tell the Professional Nanny Conference at Chiltern College that the government’s failure to create a compulsory register of nannies places those being looked after them at risk.

It comes following a week in which the Independent Safeguarding Authority announced it would require parents who are regularly responsible for other parents’ children to undergo a one-off check.

The Home Office’s Vetting and Barring Scheme requires all those in frequent, intensive or overnight contact with children to register.

Even parents who take groups of children to and from after-school groups will have to be checked.

Mr Tweed will say: “The government wants to regulate parents who work in a voluntary capacity for a few hours a week with children and young people. Yet the government will not properly regulate the nannies who work with children for whole days on a daily basis.”

Baby Peter died aged 17 months in August 2007 after months of abuse – despite being seen 60 times by professionals.

Those arguing for a nanny register say it could reassure parents by including a clearly identifiable set of accepted competencies with minimum standards of training.

At present nannies which perform beneath the standards such a register could impose can simply move to another part of the country and find work.

“Why is the government so reluctant to implement a compulsory register of nannies who want to be regulated, and instead is trying to register and regulate parents?” Mr Tweed will add.