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COMMONS AMENDMENT

95Clause 68, page 33, line 16, leave out ("the proximity of") and insert ("regular contact with")

11.45 p.m.

Lord Bach: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 95. I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 96 to 137, 208 to 211 and 213--49 amendments in all.

These amendments were made to Part V in Schedule 2 to the Bill as it left this House. They are concerned with the regulation of day care and child minding. Your Lordships will be pleased to hear that I do not intend to detain the House for too long--indeed, for any time at all--in dealing with this group of amendments. They are all technical or minor. None alters to any great degree the provisions considered by this House. They were made simply with the intention of refining various provisions within Part V.

Several of the amendments simply extend to Wales provisions which were to apply in England. They are Amendments Nos. 109, 123, 124, 126 to 128 and 132 to 135. The remaining amendments are minor or technical in nature. Their general purpose was: first, to provide increased protection for children, for example, by strengthening the provisions which test the suitability of people on the premises; secondly, to enable the chief inspector and the Assembly to fulfil their role as regulator more effectively, for example, by

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giving them the ability to take away evidence that they may come across while on a provider's premises; and, thirdly, to offer improvements for providers, for example, by extending the circumstances in which registration cannot be cancelled before the provider has had time to take appropriate action.

Amendments Nos. 96, 125, 137 and 212 are purely technical.

I am sure that your Lordships will agree that these amendments, although minor, are beneficial. They improve Part V of the Bill. I commend them to the House. If noble Lords want details of any particular amendment, I shall be happy to oblige.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 95.--(Lord Bach.)

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, the Minister's brief introduction of these amendments is commendable, but I do not wish to detain the House for very long on these technical amendments. I regret to some extent that we did not examine in more detail the provisions transferring responsibility for registration of childminders to Ofsted when they came before this House, but the separate provisions for Wales are different, as Ministers have pointed out throughout, and that raises the issue of why in England there cannot be the option of considering a different system in future. No doubt Ministers will understand that there are considerable doubts about the wisdom of transferring this responsibility to Ofsted. In the other place, there were lengthy debates on the subject. But it is odd that there should potentially be two very different systems at play in the two jurisdictions.

Lord Bach: My Lords, the Government gave considerable thought to who would best operate these procedures. We have come to the view that we have. We believe that we shall be proved right.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

96Clause 68, page 33, line 30, leave out ("and every prescribed person")
97Page 33, line 33, leave out ("the proximity of") and insert ("regular contact with")
98Page 34, leave out lines 1 and 2
99Page 34, line 5, after ("includes") insert ("any area and")
100Page 34, line 28, leave out ("the proximity of") and insert ("regular contact with")
101Page 34, line 34, leave out ("and safety") and insert (", safety and suitability")
102Page 35, line 45, at end insert--
("(b) give any other information which the registration authority reasonably requires the applicant to give.")
103Page 36, line 3, at end insert--
("( ) Where the registration authority has sent the applicant notice under section 79L(1) of its intention to refuse an application under this section, the application may not be withdrawn without the consent of the authority.
( ) A person who, in an application under this section, knowingly makes a statement which is false or misleading in a material particular shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.")

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104Page 37, line 8, leave out ("carry out repairs or make alterations or additions") and insert ("make any changes or additions to any services, equipment or premises")
105Page 37, line 11, leave out from ("ground") to ("if") in line 12 and insert ("of any defect or insufficiency in the services, equipment or premises")
106Page 37, line 15, leave out from first ("the") to ("additions") in line 17 and insert ("defect or insufficiency is due to the changes or")
107Page 37, line 23, leave out ("The regulations may make") and insert ("Any regulations made under this section shall include")
108Page 37, line 23, leave out ("for")
109Page 37, line 28, leave out ("Chief Inspector") and insert ("registration authority")
110Page 38, line 22, at end insert--
("( ) Where an order has been so made, the registration authority shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the making of the order, notify the local authority in whose area the person concerned acts or acted as a child minder, or provides or provided day care, of the making of the order.")
111Page 38, line 44, leave out ("in person or by") and insert ("orally or in writing, by the recipient of the notice or")
112Page 39, line 6, at end insert--
("( ) Subsection (6) does not prevent a step from taking effect before the expiry of the time within which an appeal may be brought under section 79M if the person concerned notifies the registration authority in writing that he does not intend to appeal.")
113Page 39, line 35, at end insert (", or intend to do so")
114Page 39, line 37, leave out ("by registered persons")
115Page 39, line 40, leave out ("section 2(7)(a)") and insert ("subsection (7)(a) of section 2")
116Page 39, line 42, at end insert (", and the power conferred by subsection (7)(b) of that section to make other reports to the Secretary of State includes a power to make reports with respect to matters which fall within the scope of his functions by virtue of this Part.")
117Page 40, line 32, at beginning insert--
("( ) The Chief Inspector may at any time require any registered person to provide him with any information connected with the person's activities as a child minder, or provision of day care, which the Chief Inspector considers it necessary to have for the purposes of his functions under this Part.")
118Page 40, line 48, at end insert--
("( ) The Chief Inspector may arrange for an inspection conducted by a registered inspector under this section to be monitored by another registered inspector.")
119Page 41, line 3, at end insert--
("( ) The period mentioned in subsection (1) may, if the Chief Inspector considers it necessary, be extended by up to three months.")
120Page 41, line 5, leave out from ("he") to ("send") in line 8 and insert--
( ) may send a copy of it to the Secretary of State, and shall do so without delay if the Secretary of State requests a copy;
( ) shall")
121Page 41, line 11, leave out from ("and") to end of line 13 and insert--
("( ) may arrange for the report (or parts of it) to be further published in any manner he considers appropriate.")
122Page 41, line 22, at end insert (", or intend to do so")
123Page 41, line 22, at end insert--
("( ) In relation to child minding and day care provided in Wales, the Assembly shall have any additional function specified

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in regulations made by the Assembly; but the regulations may only specify a function corresponding to a function which, by virtue of section 79N(5), is exercisable by the Chief Inspector in relation to child minding and day care provided in England.")
124Page 41, line 23, at beginning insert--
("( ) The Assembly may at any time require any registered person to provide it with any information connected with the person's activities as a child minder or provision of day care which the Assembly considers it necessary to have for the purposes of its functions under this Part.")
125Page 41, line 35, leave out ("the Chief Inspector of Schools") and insert ("Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training")
126Page 41, line 43, leave out ("A registered") and insert ("An authorised")
127Page 41, line 44, after ("England") insert ("or Wales")
128Page 42, line 1, leave out ("a registered") and insert ("an authorised")
129Page 42, line 12, at end insert--
("( ) seize and remove any document or other material or thing found there which he has reasonable grounds to believe may be evidence of a failure to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by or under this Part;
( ) require any person to afford him such facilities and assistance with respect to matters within the person's control as are necessary to enable him to exercise his powers under this section;
( ) take measurements and photographs or make recordings;")
130Page 42, line 13, at end insert ("and the arrangements made for their welfare")
131Page 42, line 17, after ("living") insert ("or working")
132Page 42, line 23, leave out ("Chief Inspector") and insert ("registration authority")
133Page 42, line 24, leave out ("him") and insert ("the authority")
134Page 42, line 24, leave out ("a registered") and insert ("an authorised")
135Page 42, line 35, after ("section") insert--
(""authorised inspector" means a registered inspector or a person authorised by the Assembly or by any person with whom the Assembly has made arrangements under section 79T(2);")
136Page 43, line 36, at end insert--
("Time limit for proceedings.
79UA. Proceedings for an offence under this Part or regulations made under it may be brought within a period of six months from the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge; but no such proceedings shall be brought by virtue of this section more than three years after the commission of the offence.").
137Page 43, line 46, leave out ("the Chief Inspector of Schools") and insert ("Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training")

Lord Bach: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 96 to 137.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 96 to 137.--(Lord Bach.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


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