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The National Day Nursery Association wants the Department for Education to make the rules concerning childcare workers living with someone who is disqualified clearer and easier to understand.
Under current legal requirements around disqualification, every nursery worker must not have been disqualified from working with children, and every nursery worker must not be living with someone who has been disqualified.
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the NDNA said: “We have seen an increase in the number of members contacting us about this particular issue. The rules around disqualification are not clear in the EYFS and that must be put right. NDNA has produced an easy to read factsheet on disqualification and, as we feel this is a crucial issue for the sector it is available on our website for everyone to access.”
NDNA has warned there is a common misconception that only the registered provider must not live with someone who is disqualified, however in reality every member of staff must not be aware of someone in their household who has been disqualified.
For people living in house shares where it is possible for a nursery staff member to be unaware they are living with someone who is disqualified, there is no legal requirement for them to find out.
However if someone is aware a member of their household is disqualified it is their duty to tell their employer, who has to pass on that information to Ofsted. Although in some circumstances Ofsted can issue a waiver to allow the person to continue to work with children, it is up to the individual and not the employer to apply for a waiver from Ofsted.
NDNA has created a factsheet to help nursery staff understand the legislation surrounding disqualification titled ‘Staff Suitability and Disqualification Factsheet ‘ which is available to everyone working in the sector, but want the government to do more to help ensure people can access accurate and precise information on employment law compliance.
Ms Tanuku continued: “We feel very strongly it is important to ensure everyone has access to all the facts in an easy to understand format. “At the moment providers would need to search through the Childcare Act to find the relevant legislation which is time-consuming and confusing. We would urge DfE to look at the EYFS and ensure the facts are clear and concise on this vitally important bit of legislation.”