PACEY is aware of a number of childminders across the country who are offering a free hour or two of care in their childminding setting, so that mums can go and get smear tests, helping to combat recent statistics from Public Health England that take-up rates of tests are at the lowest for about 20 years and from Public Health Wales that these have reached a 12 year low.
We are delighted to see childminders taking the time and having the initiative to offer this service for free. We were recently quoted on the BBC positively applauding childminders for their proactivity that is ultimately saving lives.
However, we want to make sure that all childminders are considering some additional factors before offering this in their area:
- You must be able to maintain required ratios set by your regulatory body
- Take a moment to check that your public liability insurance supports this type of care
- Make sure you have a formal written agreement or have a short-term contract (please note short term contracts can not be used in Wales) with the parent if their child is not currently at your setting. If you are a PACEY member, you can download a checklist for free in MyPACEY that can be used as a short-term contract.
Please read our full quote from PACEY chief executive Liz Bayram, sent to the BBC:
“With smear tests at an all-time low, it is fantastic to see registered childminders taking the initiative and stepping up to offer an hour of free childcare so that mums can go for a cervical screening safe in the knowledge their child is in good hands.
“Registered childminders are highly qualified and skilled professionals with appropriate first aid skills, so are a good choice for this type of support. At PACEY – the professional association for everyone working in childcare - we would want registered childminders to consider a number of important factors before offering this short term care and to ensure it is manageable alongside the early education they will be offering to other children. These factors include maintaining required ratios, checking their public liability insurance supports this type of care and that there is a formal written agreement or contract with the parent. If all that is in order, childminders should be applauded for their pro-activity in offering a service where the ultimate aim is to save lives.”
If you are a PACEY member and have any more questions regarding this, please call us on 0300 003 0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.