Public Liability Insurance for Childminders is an absolute necessity when you’re working as a nanny. Children are notoriously prone to accidents. Not through their own fault or yours but just as their bodies are growing and developing and they are continuously having to adjust to these changes, they may at times be a little bit clumsy and accidents do happen. In the event that a child becomes injured whilst in your care, you need to ensure that you won’t be held personally liable for the injury. Though not a compulsory legal requirement for nannies, having public liability insurance can protect your nanny business should anything happen.
According to RoSPA, “more than one million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year, for which they are taken to accidents and emergency units”, and the most at risk of an accident at home are early years children between the ages of 0-4 years old who make up more than half of that figure.
Children are often completely oblivious to the risks around them, and tend to be more involved in their own immediate interests. It is the responsibility of the nanny to maintain a high level of awareness from situation to situation in order to prevent any accidents from occurring. But this does not mean that every accident to occur is at the fault of the nanny or childminder. A lack of familiarity with the surroundings can often contribute to accidents, and many nannies do not care for children in their own home or premises.
Ironically, the largest number of accidents involving children happen in the living room and dining room, which is supposed to be considered the “safe zone” where children are free to relax and play. The comfortable environment of the living room can however result in you letting your guard down, more so than you would in the kitchen or on the stairs where the most serious accidents involving children occur, but you are more likely to be wary of the dangers.
Common accidents include toddlers tripping over their toys when they’re playing, babies rolling off of their changing table or off of the sofa, young children ingesting something that they shouldn’t or choking on small toys, or knocking over a hot drink on the table and suffering from a burn or a scald. (Remember that the skin of a child is far more sensitive than that of an adult.) Any of the aforementioned incidents can occur when the nanny is briefly distracted by something else, such as a knock on the door or the ringing of a telephone.
According to PHE (Public Health England), there are five principal causes of serious unintentional injury for under-fives in England:
- Choking, suffocation and strangulation – though hospital admissions are low, these injuries account for the highest number of deaths for the 0-4 age group.
- Falls – lead to the most accident-related admissions for children under five, 90% of which are for less than two days.
- Poisoning – caused mainly by medicines (approximately 70%) and household chemicals (approximately 20%).
- Burns and scalds – scalds from hot drinks cause the most burns/scalds injuries, followed by contact with household appliances, contact with other hot fluids, burns from hot heating appliances and bath water scalds.
- Drowning – the lethal nature of drowning means that the rate of death due to drowning is extremely high in comparison to the number of hospital admissions.
Despite the obvious risks of caring for other people’s children professionally, the job role can be just as rewarding as it is challenging. Nannies strive to create a safe yet stimulating play environment for the children that they care for, and safety and security must be ensured with every activity.
Insurance for Nannies
For Ofsted registered nannies, public liability insurance is mandatory. According to Ofsted’s Requirements for the Childcare Register: Childminders and Home Childcarers August 2014 No. 080161, “childminders and home childcarers must be covered by their own insurance in respect of liability which may be incurred for death, injury, public liability, damage or other loss”. Ofsted registered nannies must also inform Ofsted of any incident affecting the welfare of children, such as food poisoning or any serious accident or injury.
So if you plan on becoming an Ofsted registered nanny, insurance is a must-have. You may also be eligible for a discount should you be registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted register.
When you are shopping for nanny insurance, you might want to check that the insurance policy covers you whilst you are out of the house, if you plan on leaving the premises with the child to the park, library, shops or wherever. If you plan on driving your own vehicle whilst on childminding duty, with the child in the car, then your car insurance provider must be informed of this and you may need to extend your car insurance for business use.
Did you know that claims can be made against the nanny right up until the child’s 21st birthday? So make sure that your insurance policy covers you for the future up until that point and not just for the duration of your care.
Do you need Childminders Public Liability Insurance?
Call our Freephone on 0800 1696137 to discuss your insurance!