Care Standards Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords

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  PART V
  CHILD MINDING AND DAY CARE
Amendment of Children Act 1989.     68. - (1) After Part X of the 1989 Act (child minding and day care for young children) there shall be inserted-
 
 
"PART XA
  CHILD MINDING AND DAY CARE FOR CHILDREN IN ENGLAND AND WALES
 
Introductory
Child minders and day care providers.     79A. - (1) This section and section 79B apply for the purposes of this Part.
 
      (2) "Act as a child minder" means (subject to the following subsections) look after one or more children under the age of eight on domestic premises for reward; and "child minding" shall be interpreted accordingly.
 
      (3) A person who-
 
 
    (a) is the parent, or a relative, of a child;
 
    (b) has parental responsibility for a child;
 
    (c) is a local authority foster parent in relation to a child;
 
    (d) is a foster parent with whom a child has been placed by a voluntary organisation; or
 
    (e) fosters a child privately,
  does not act as a child minder when looking after that child.
 
      (4) Where a person-
 
 
    (a) looks after a child for the parents ("P1"), or
 
    (b) in addition to that work, looks after another child for different parents ("P2"),
  and the work consists (in a case within paragraph (a)) of looking after the child wholly or mainly in P1's home or (in a case within paragraph (b)) of looking after the children wholly or mainly in P1's home or P2's home or both, the work is not to be treated as child minding.
 
      (5) In subsection (4), "parent", in relation to a child, includes-
 
 
    (a) a person who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibility for the child;
 
    (b) a person who is a relative of the child.
      (6) "Day care" means care provided at any time for children under the age of eight on premises other than domestic premises.
 
      (7) This Part does not apply in relation to a person who acts as a child minder, or provides day care on any premises, unless the period, or the total of the periods, in any day which he spends looking after children or (as the case may be) during which the children are looked after on the premises exceeds two hours.
 
      (8) In determining whether a person is required to register under this Part for child minding, any time in a day after 6 pm which he spends looking after children is to be disregarded.
 
Other definitions, etc.     79B. - (1) The registration authority in relation to England is Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England (referred to in this Part as the Chief Inspector) and references to the Chief Inspector's area are references to England.
 
      (2) The registration authority in relation to Wales is the National Assembly for Wales (referred to in this Act as "the Assembly").
 
      (3) A person is qualified for registration for child minding if-
 
 
    (a) he, and every other person looking after children on any premises on which he is or is likely to be child minding, and every prescribed person is suitable to look after children under the age of eight;
 
    (b) every person living or employed on the premises in question is suitable to be in the proximity of children under the age of eight;
 
    (c) the premises in question are suitable to be used for looking after children under the age of eight, having regard to their condition and the condition of any equipment on the premises and to any other factor connected with the situation, construction or size of the premises; and
 
    (d) he is complying with regulations under section 79C and with any conditions imposed by the registration authority.
      (4) A person is qualified for registration for providing day care on particular premises if-
 
 
    (a) every person looking after children on the premises, and every prescribed person, is suitable to look after children under the age of eight;
 
    (b) every person living or working on the premises is suitable to be in the proximity of children under the age of eight;
 
    (c) the premises are suitable to be used for looking after children under the age of eight, having regard to their condition and the condition of any equipment on the premises and to any other factor connected with the situation, construction or size of the premises; and
 
    (d) he is complying with regulations under section 79C and with any conditions imposed by the registration authority.
      (5) "Care", in relation to children, includes any activity supervised by a responsible person.
 
      (6) "Domestic premises" means any premises which are wholly or mainly used as a private dwelling and "premises" includes any vehicle.
 
      (7) "Regulations" means-
 
 
    (a) in relation to England, regulations made by the Secretary of State;
 
    (b) in relation to Wales, regulations made by the Assembly.
      (8) "Tribunal" means the Tribunal established by section 9 of the Protection of Children Act 1999.
 
      (9) Schedule 9A (which supplements the provisions of this Part) shall have effect.
 
 
Regulations
Regulations etc. governing child minders and day care providers.     79C. - (1) The Secretary of State may, after consulting the Chief Inspector and any other person he considers appropriate, make regulations governing the activities of registered persons who act as child minders, or provide day care, on premises in England.
 
      (2) The Assembly may make regulations governing the activities of registered persons who act as child minders, or provide day care, on premises in Wales.
 
      (3) The regulations under this section may deal with the following matters (among others)-
 
 
    (a) the welfare and development of the children concerned;
 
    (b) suitability to look after, or be in the proximity of, children under the age of eight;
 
    (c) qualifications and training;
 
    (d) the maximum number of children who may be looked after and the number of persons required to assist in looking after them;
 
    (e) the maintenance and safety of premises and equipment;
 
    (f) the keeping of records;
 
    (g) the provision of information.
      (4) In relation to activities on premises in England, the power to make regulations under this section may be exercised so as to confer powers or impose duties on the Chief Inspector in the exercise of his functions under this Part.
 
      (5) In particular they may be exercised so as to require or authorise the Chief Inspector, in exercising those functions, to have regard to or meet factors, standards and other matters prescribed by or referred to in the regulations.
 
      (6) If the regulations require any person (other than the registration authority) to have regard to or meet factors, standards and other matters prescribed by or referred to in the regulations, they may also provide for any allegation that the person has failed to do so to be taken into account-
 
 
    (a) by the registration authority in the exercise of its functions under this Part, or
 
    (b) in any proceedings under this Part.
      (7) Regulations may provide-
 
 
    (a) that a registered person who without reasonable excuse contravenes, or otherwise fails to comply with, any requirement of the regulations shall be guilty of an offence; and
 
    (b) that a person guilty of the offence shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
 
Registration
Requirement to register.     79D. - (1) No person shall-
 
 
    (a) act as a child minder in England unless he is registered under this Part for child minding by the Chief Inspector; or
 
    (b) act as a child minder in Wales unless he is registered under this Part for child minding by the Assembly.
      (2) Where it appears to the registration authority that a person has contravened subsection (1), the authority may serve a notice ("an enforcement notice") on him.
 
      (3) An enforcement notice shall have effect for a period of one year beginning with the date on which it is served.
 
      (4) If a person in respect of whom an enforcement notice has effect contravenes subsection (1) without reasonable excuse (whether the contravention occurs in England or Wales), he shall be guilty of an offence.
 
      (5) No person shall provide day care on any premises unless he is registered under this Part for providing day care on those premises by the registration authority.
 
      (6) If any person contravenes subsection (5) without reasonable excuse, he shall be guilty of an offence.
 
      (7) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
 
Applications for registration.     79E. - (1) A person who wishes to be registered under this Part shall make an application to the registration authority.
 
      (2) The application shall give prescribed information about prescribed matters.
 
      (3) Where a person provides, or proposes to provide, day care on different premises, he shall make a separate application in respect of each of them.
 
Grant or refusal of registration.     79F. - (1) If, on an application by a person for registration for child minding-
 
 
    (a) the registration authority is of the opinion that the applicant is, and will continue to be, qualified for registration for child minding (so far as the conditions of section 79B(3) are applicable); and
 
    (b) the applicant pays the prescribed fee,
  the authority shall grant the application; otherwise, it shall refuse it.
 
      (2) If, on an application by any person for registration for providing day care on any premises-
 
 
    (a) the registration authority is of the opinion that the applicant is, and will continue to be, qualified for registration for providing day care on those premises (so far as the conditions of section 79B(4) are applicable); and
 
    (b) the applicant pays the prescribed fee,
  the authority shall grant the application; otherwise, it shall refuse it.
 
      (3) An application may, as well as being granted subject to any conditions the authority thinks necessary or expedient for the purpose of giving effect to regulations under section 79C, be granted subject to any other conditions the authority thinks fit to impose.
 
      (4) The registration authority may as it thinks fit vary or remove any condition to which the registration is subject or impose a new condition.
 
      (5) Any register kept by a registration authority of persons who act as child minders or provide day care shall be open to inspection by members of the public at all reasonable times.
 
      (6) A registered person who without reasonable excuse contravenes, or otherwise fails to comply with, any condition imposed on his registration shall be guilty of an offence.
 
      (7) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (6) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
 
Cancellation of registration.     79G. - (1) The registration authority may cancel the registration of any person if-
 
 
    (a) in the case of a person registered for child minding, the authority is of the opinion that the person has ceased or will cease to be qualified for registration for child minding;
 
    (b) in the case of a person registered for providing day care on any premises, the authority is of the opinion that the person has ceased or will cease to be qualified for registration for providing day care on those premises,
  or if an annual fee which is due from the person has not been paid.
 
      (2) Where a requirement to carry out repairs or make alterations or additions has been imposed on a registered person under section 79F(3), his registration shall not be cancelled on the ground that the premises are not suitable to be used for looking after children under the age of eight if-
 
 
    (a) the time set for complying with the requirements has not expired; and
 
    (b) it is shown that the condition of the premises is due to the repairs not having been carried out or the alterations or additions not having been made.
      (3) Any cancellation under this section must be in writing.
 
Suspension of registration.     79H. - (1) Regulations may provide for the registration of any person for acting as a child minder or providing day care to be suspended for a prescribed period by the registration authority in prescribed circumstances.
 
      (2) The regulations may make provision for conferring on the person concerned a right of appeal to the Tribunal against suspension.
 
Resignation of registration.     79J. - (1) A person who is registered for acting as a child minder or providing day care may by notice in writing to the Chief Inspector resign his registration.
 
      (2) But a person may not give a notice under subsection (1)-
 
 
    (a) if the registration authority has sent him a notice under section 79L(1) of its intention to cancel the registration, unless the authority has decided not to take that step; or
 
    (b) if the registration authority has sent him a notice under section 79L(5) of its decision to cancel the registration and the time within which an appeal may be brought has not expired or, if an appeal has been brought, it has not been determined.
Protection of children in an emergency.     79K. - (1) If, in the case of any person registered for acting as a child minder or providing day care-
 
 
    (a) the registration authority apply to the Tribunal for an order-
 
      (i) cancelling the registration;
 
      (ii) varying or removing any condition to which the registration is subject; or
 
      (iii) imposing a new condition; and
 
    (b) it appears to the Tribunal that a child who is being, or may be, looked after by that person, or (as the case may be) in accordance with the provision for day care made by that person, is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm,
  the Tribunal may make the order.
 
      (2) The cancellation, variation, removal or imposition shall have effect from the date on which the order is made.
 
      (3) An application under subsection (1) may be made ex parte and shall be supported by a written statement of the authority's reasons for making it.
 
      (4) Where an order is made under this section, the registration authority shall serve on the registered person, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the making of the order-
 
 
    (a) notice of the order and of its terms; and
 
    (b) a copy of the statement of the authority's reasons which supported the application for the order.
      (5) In the case of an order made on an ex parte application, an appeal shall lie to the Tribunal (constituted so that no person who was a member of the Tribunal when it made the order is also a member for the purpose of the appeal).
 
      (6) On the appeal, the Tribunal may-
 
 
    (a) confirm the order or direct that it is to cease to have effect;
 
    (b) where the appeal relates to any condition, vary it or direct that it is to cease to have effect;
 
    (c) impose a new condition.
      (7) Where the Tribunal imposes or varies any condition under subsection (1) or (6), the condition, or the requirement as varied, shall be treated for all purposes (other than those of section 79L) as if it had been imposed under section 79F(3).
 
Appeals.     79L. - (1) Not less than 14 days before-
 
 
    (a) refusing an application for registration;
 
    (b) cancelling a registration;
 
    (c) removing or varying any condition to which a registration is subject or imposing a new condition; or
 
    (d) refusing to grant an application for the removal or variation of any condition to which a registration is subject,
  the registration authority shall send to the applicant, or (as the case may be) registered person, notice in writing of their intention to take the step in question.
 
      (2) Every such notice shall-
 
 
    (a) give the authority's reasons for proposing to take the step; and
 
    (b) inform the person concerned of his rights under this section.
      (3) Where the recipient of such a notice informs the authority in writing of his desire to object to the step being taken, the authority shall afford him an opportunity to do so.
 
      (4) Any objection made under subsection (3) may be made in person or by a representative.
 
      (5) If the authority, after giving the person concerned an opportunity to object to the step being taken, decide nevertheless to take it they shall send him written notice of their decision.
 
      (6) A person aggrieved by the taking of any step mentioned in subsection (1) may appeal against it to the Tribunal.
 
      (7) Where the Tribunal imposes or varies any condition under subsection (8) or (9), the condition, or the condition as varied, shall be treated for all purposes (other than this section) as if it had been imposed by the registration authority.
 
      (8) Where the Tribunal allows an appeal against the refusal or cancellation of a registration, it may impose conditions on the registration.
 
      (9) Where the Tribunal allows an appeal against the imposition or continuation of a condition, it may, instead of cancelling the condition, vary it.
 
      (10) A step of a kind mentioned in subsection (1)(b) or (c) shall not take effect until the expiry of the time within which an appeal may be brought under this section or, where such an appeal is brought, before its determination.
 
 
Inspection: England
General functions of the Chief Inspector.     79M. - (1) The Chief Inspector has the general duty of keeping the Secretary of State informed about the quality and standards of child minding and day care provided by registered persons in England.
 
      (2) When asked to do so by the Secretary of State, the Chief Inspector shall give advice or information to the Secretary of State about such matters relating to the provision of child minding or day care by registered persons in England as may be specified in the Secretary of State's request.
 
      (3) The Chief Inspector may at any time give advice to the Secretary of State, either generally or in relation to provision by particular persons or on particular premises, on any matter connected with the provision of child minding or day care by registered persons in England.
 
      (4) The Chief Inspector may secure the provision of training for persons who provide or assist in providing child minding or day care.
 
      (5) Regulations may confer further functions on the Chief Inspector relating to child minding and day care provided by registered persons in England.
 
      (6) The annual reports of the Chief Inspector required by section 2(7)(a) of the School Inspections Act 1996 to be made to the Secretary of State shall include an account of the exercise of the Chief Inspector's functions under this Part.
 
Early years child care inspectorate.     79N. - (1) The Chief Inspector shall establish and maintain a register of early years child care inspectors for England.
 
      (2) The register may be combined with the register maintained for England under paragraph 8(1) of Schedule 26 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (register of nursery education inspectors).
 
      (3) Paragraphs 8(2) to (9), 9(1) to (4), 10 and 11 of that Schedule shall apply in relation to the register of early years child care inspectors as they apply in relation to the register maintained for England under paragraph 8(1) of that Schedule, but with the modifications set out in subsection (4).
 
      (4) In the provisions concerned-
 
 
    (a) references to registered nursery education inspectors shall be read as references to registered early years child care inspectors;
 
    (b) references to inspections under paragraph 6 of that Schedule shall be read as references to inspections under section 79P (and references to the functions of a registered nursery education inspector under paragraph 6 shall be interpreted accordingly); and
 
    (c) references to the registration of a person under paragraph 6 of that Schedule shall be read as references to the registration of a person under subsection (1) (and references to applications made under paragraph 6 shall be interpreted accordingly).
      (5) Registered early years child care inspectors are referred to below in this Part as registered inspectors.
 
Inspection of provision of child minding and day care in England.     79P. - (1) The Chief Inspector shall secure that any child minding provided in England by a registered person is inspected by a registered inspector at prescribed intervals.
 
      (2) The Chief Inspector shall secure that any day care provided by a registered person on any premises in England is inspected by a registered inspector at prescribed intervals.
 
      (3) The Chief Inspector may comply with subsection (1) or (2) either by organising inspections or by making arrangements with others for them to organise inspections.
 
      (4) In prescribing the intervals mentioned in subsection (1) or (2) the Secretary of State may make provision as to the period within which the first inspection of child minding or day care provided by any person or at any premises is to take place.
 
      (5) A person conducting an inspection under this section shall report on the quality and standards of the child minding or day care provided.
 
Reports of inspections.     79Q - (1) A person who has conducted an inspection under section 79P shall report in writing on the matters inspected to the Chief Inspector within the prescribed period.
 
      (2) Once the report of an inspection has been made to the Chief Inspector under subsection (1) he shall without delay-
 
 
    (a) send a copy of it to the Secretary of State, and
 
    (b) send a copy of it, or of such parts of it as he considers appropriate, to any prescribed authorities or persons,
  and may makes copies of it, or of such parts of it as he considers appropriate, available to any prescribed authorities or persons.
 
      (3) Subsections (2) to (4) of section 42A of the School Inspections Act 1996 shall apply in relation to the publication of any report of an inspection under section 79P of any provision of child minding or day care as they apply in relation to the publication of a report under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (2) of section 42A.
 
 
Supplementary
Rights of entry etc. in England.     79R. - (1) A registered inspector may at any reasonable time enter any premises in England on which child minding or day care is at any time provided.
 
      (2) Where a registered inspector has reasonable cause to believe that a child is being looked after on any premises in contravention of this Part, he may enter those premises at any reasonable time.
 
      (3) An inspector entering premises under this section may-
 
 
    (a) inspect the premises;
 
    (b) inspect, and take copies of-
 
      (i) any records kept by the person providing the child minding or day care; and
 
      (ii) any other documents containing information relating to its provision;
 
    (c) examine any children being looked after there;
 
    (d) interview in private the person providing the child minding or day care; and
 
    (e) interview in private any person looking after children, or living, there who consents to be interviewed.
      (4) Section 42 of the School Inspections Act 1996 (inspection of computer records for purposes of Part I of that Act) shall apply for the purposes of subsection (3) as it applies for the purposes of Part I of that Act.
 
      (5) The Chief Inspector may, in any case where it appears to him appropriate to do so, authorise a person who is not a registered inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred by this section.
 
      (6) A person exercising any power conferred by this section shall, if so required, produce some duly authenticated document showing his authority to do so.
 
      (7) It shall be an offence wilfully to obstruct a person exercising any such power.
 
      (8) Any person guilty of an offence under subsection (7) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
 
      (9) In this section "documents" and "records" each include information recorded in any form.
 
Function of local authorities.     79S. Each local authority shall secure the provision-
 
 
    (a) of information and advice about child minding and day care, and
 
    (b) of training for persons who provide or assist in providing child minding or day care.
 
Checks on suitability of persons working with children over the age of seven
Requirement for certificate of suitability.     79T. - (1) This section applies to any person not required to register under this Part who looks after, or provides care for, children and meets the following conditions.
 
  References in this section to children are to those under the age of 15 or (in the case of disabled children) 17.
 
      (2) The first condition is that the period, or the total of the periods, in any week which he spends looking after children or (as the case may be) during which the children are looked after exceeds five hours.
 
      (3) The second condition is that he would be required to register under this Part (or, as the case may be, this Part if it were subject to prescribed modifications) if the children were under the age of eight.
 
      (4) Regulations may require a person to whom this section applies to hold a certificate issued by the registration authority as to his suitability, and the suitability of each prescribed person, to look after children.
 
      (5) The regulations may make provision about-
 
 
    (a) applications for certificates;
 
    (b) the matters to be taken into account by the registration authority in determining whether to issue certificates;
 
    (c) the information to be contained in certificates;
 
    (d) the period of their validity.
      (6) The regulations may provide that a person to whom this section applies shall be guilty of an offence-
 
 
    (a) if he does not hold a certificate as required by the regulations; or
 
    (b) if, being a person who holds such a certificate, he fails to produce it when reasonably required to do so by a prescribed person.
      (7) The regulations may provide that a person who, for the purpose of obtaining such a certificate, knowingly makes a statement which is false or misleading in a material particular shall be guilty of an offence.
 
      (8) The regulations may provide that a person guilty of an offence under the regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."
 
      (2) Schedule 2 (which inserts a new Schedule 9A in the 1989 Act) shall have effect.
 
      (3) Part X of, and Schedule 9 to, the 1989 Act shall cease to extend to England and Wales.
 
 
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