Monday, September 01, 2003
Everybody needs good neighbours
posted by Jonathan Calder |
Then there are Ofsted's latest childcare regulations, which all but outlaw ordinary people from looking after neighbours' children. All childcare for more than two hours now has to be carried out by trained professionals.
You can still do it for nothing, but any kind of recognition of your efforts - a bunch of flowers or some chocolate - now makes you liable to prosecution and a lifetime's blacklisting.
It is hard to exaggerate how disempowering it is for neighbours to be outlawed from looking after each other's children, especially when the professionals are not available to take charge while mothers go for job interviews - or all the other things the government would like them to do.
It is just one more symptom of the divisions between increasingly exhausted public service professionals and their increasingly disempowered clients.
David Boyle The Guardian 2 June 2003