Call for register of childcarers

Nursery nurses yesterday called for a national compulsory register of nannies and other childcarers amid concern that as many of half of those calling themselves nannies may be unqualified.

The demand from the Professional Association of Nursery Nurses came after 18-year-old Louise Woodward, from Chester, who was working in America as an au pair, was accused of murdering the nine-month-old baby in her care.

The Pann, whose 4,500 members all have formal nursery nursing qualifications, called for nannies and nursery nurses to be included in the national register of childminders held by local authorities. Childminders are obliged to register, but nannies and nursery nurses are not. The organisation also underlined the difference between nannies and au pairs, like Ms Woodward, who are unqualified and are working primarily to gain experience of a foreign country.