Nannies have been reported in the newspaper to be complaining about being asked to do regular safety checks on children's homes and being told to tell parents what has to change or they cannot continue to work for them.
Why is this a problem? Nannies who provide an essentially private childcare and housekeeping service in parents' own home are classified as a licensed ECE service if they are on the books of a licensed government funded home-based agency, alongside ECE services which operate differently as centres and family daycare for children from any families.
Home-based ECE agencies licensed under the 2008 Education (Early Childhood) Regulations must take all reasonable steps to ensure appropriate procedures are in place to deal with emergencies, ensure children's safety, supervision, provide a curriculum and assess and report on children's learning. In nearly all respects home-based agencies are the same as centre-based services with the exceptions that the settings are different and only the coordinators or the people managing the placement of children in homes need to be qualified teachers as opposed to 50% of staff at teacher-led centres.
In response to an article in the NZ Dominion Post article (March 2012) about nannies baulking at "doing the state's nanny business", Malcolm Geard in a Letter to the Editor argued that in its role of licensing ECE services surely the Ministry of Education is responsible for inspecting each and every home where children's care and education is taking place; and if the Ministry of Education does not do this then the agency the Ministry funds to provide home-based ECE should, but it is not the role of the employee to take on the role of either the Ministry or the Agency to ensure regulations are met.