Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services
Over recent weeks I have made several important announcements about how, as a Government, we are supporting the childcare sector and making more Government-funded childcare available to parents and carers, including for those in education and training. We are also pleased to be able to increase the hourly rate for our Childcare Offer from 1 April which will be of benefit to providers and parents.
In parallel, we must take steps to ensure that we are doing all we can here in Wales to make sure our children are well looked after when they are being cared for by registered childcare providers. To help achieve this, we have legislation in place to reduce the risk of harm which can arise as a result of our children coming into contact with people who are unsuitable to care for them.
I am launching today a consultation on draft regulations to replace the current Child Minding and Day Care (Disqualification) (Wales) Regulations 2010. The current regulations apply to people who are registered, or who wish to register, as child minders or providers of day care in Wales; and include a number of reasons why a person can be disqualified from being registered to provide these services, including for example being convicted of serious criminal offences against a child or because a Care or Supervision Order has been made in respect of a child in their care.
The draft regulations which I’m publishing today provide important updates to existing legislation, reflecting relevant offences which have been introduced since the 2010 regulations were made. We are also taking this opportunity to suggest some policy changes. This includes the possibility of removing provisions which disqualify individuals registered to provide day care (which the provider delivers from premises other than their home) based on the fact that they live with someone who is disqualified. We are also considering removing some anomalies in the current legislation to ensure that people who may have been subject to Care or Supervision Orders in the past together with foster, kinship and adoptive parents are treated fairly.
Further detail about all the changes being proposed can be found in the consultation material and in the draft regulations which I am publishing today.
We will be working with partners and our key stakeholders to raise as much awareness as possible of the consultation amongst the people who will be most affected.
The consultation will be open for responses until 23 June 2022 and we look forward to hearing what people think of the changes we are proposing. This feedback will help inform the final regulations which we hope to make in the autumn.