HL Deb 10 November 2004 vol 666 cc1003-4

83 Schedule 4, page 44, line 7, at end insert—

"Hotels etc

In Schedule 9A, after paragraph 2 insert—

"2A ( I ) Part XA does not apply to provision of day care in a hotel, guest house or other similar establishment for children staying in that establishment where—

  1. (a) the provision takes place only between 6 pm and 2 am; and
  2. (b) the person providing the care is doing so for no more than two different clients at the same time.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(b), a "client" is a person at whose request (or persons at whose joint request) day care is provided for a child.""

Lord Filkin

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 83. It addresses a current anomaly in the childcare registration arrangements operated by Ofsted. The intention is to bring hotel babysitting more in line with babysitting on domestic premises.

We believe that what is essentially a private short-term arrangement between a parent and a babysitter in a hotel should be outside the scope of the normal registration arrangements. This should apply to babysitters on hotel premises, just as it does to those on domestic premises. But the proposed change allows for unregulated hotel babysitting only on a very small scale. Parents must take responsibility for ensuring that babysitters are suitable. The exemption applies in situations in which no more than two families' children are being looked after between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. That is to ensure that Ofsted continues to register other kinds of hotel childcare services, which are clearly day care rather than babysitting.

We hope that the amendment strikes an appropriate balance between the freedom of parents to make informal arrangements for the care of their children in hotels and ensuring that more formal childcare arrangements are properly regulated.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 83.—(Lord Filkin.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.