New Bill Seeks to Regulate Nannies and Au pair Agencies in Massachusetts Under The Department of Early Education and Care
North Attleborough State Rep Elizabeth A. Poirier recently sponsored a bill relative to the licensure and regulation of au pair and nanny agencies by the Department of Early Education and Care. Education.
The bill was referred to the education committee on January 22, 2019 by both the Massachusetts House and Senate and since then no actions have been taken.
In short, the bill seeks to create a credential system for nannies and au pairs who work out of agencies similar to the credential system of early educators where nannies and au pairs would need to get training for CPR, First Aid, CORI background checks, course work or training about child development, and experience working with children. At the bottom of the post I am linking to the bill and copying the full text of the bill.
Overall, I like this idea because it would let families/parents know that the nannies and au pairs they hire have some basic level of training, knowledge, and competency. In addition, it could allow nannies and au pairs to become infant/toddler and preschool teachers easier and vice versa if the certification all fell under the purview of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care’s PQ Registry system.
That being said, I’d imagine some might call this government overreach and too much regulation that might limit the supply of nannies and au pairs and or lead to barriers of entry. The counter to that is that this would only apply to people hired via nannies and au pairs agencies and not more informal nannies and au pairs work arrangements.
Ill be sure to keep readers of this website up to date about the bill.
Here is a link to read the full text of the bill:
“Section 7D. The Department of Early Education and Care, hereafter known as the Department, is hereby authorized and directed to establish, implement, provide oversight to, and promulgate regulations for, a licensure and approval process for employment and placement agencies as defined in section two of this chapter, who are engaged in placing au pairs and nannies, as defined in section two of this chapter, in a private residence for the purposes of performing child care services and duties on a full time or regular basis.
Such agencies shall provide verification to the Department to the effect that each au pair and nanny, prior to being placed in a private residence, and wherein stated during said placement, has met the specific standards and criteria stated in this section, and shall develop forms and procedures approved by the Department for such verification. No employment or placement agency shall place any person defined in section two for the purposes of providing child care services unless the standards approved by the Department and all other statutory and regulatory obligations are fulfilled. The Commissioner of the Department, in conjunction with the employment or placement agency, may exercise discretion and flexibility in the evaluation and consideration of standards to be met and in determinations of substitute or alternative criteria which would fulfill such requirements or their equivalent. The Commissioner may consider documented training or experience in a child care program or school, a nursery, or other acceptable participation in coursework or experience submitted by the au pair and nanny through the employment or placement agency as equivalent criteria required to meet educational and training standards. The Commissioner may accept as fulfillment of the requirements, and may further approve of, programs of education and training in child care services, child development, child welfare, or other, or certification or diplomas or degrees received by au pairs and nannies in their home countries, as approved of and verified by, the placement or employment agency in its submissions to the Department. The licensing of employment and placement agencies shall be dependent upon the verification by the employment and placement agencies, of the following requirements to be met by au pairs and nannies, which shall be fulfilled in addition to those set forth in the federal regulations of the USIA, 514.31 Au Pairs, requiring a thirty-two hour training period, and documented child care experiences constituting two hundred hours. However, if such thirty-two hour training period becomes fully accredited by a college, university, or recognized educational institute, such training hours may be applied by the Department as partial fulfillment of requirements in education and training as stated in this section. The Commissioner may ascertain and approve, in conjunction with the placement or employment agencies, that the persons teaching child care training and educational requirements are qualified professionals. The following standards and criteria shall be required of au pairs and nannies, subject to conditions set forth in this section: (a) two formal standard courses, or six semester hours, in early childhood education, or a certificate or vocational program in early childhood education, or equivalent, either during secondary educational coursework, or during post-secondary coursework in a recognized college, university other educational institution in child care training, child development, child welfare, or other appropriate coursework, classes or training, including substitutions in educational courses and/or work experience determined as acceptable by the Commissioner; (b) participation in at least three days in-service training and education in early childhood education, child development and child welfare and safety, or other such appropriate child care services training, either midway through the year of the placement of the au air, or at intervals during the year of placement, as approved by the Commissioner, in conjunction with the employment or placement agency; (c) certification in CPR and Basic First Aid; (d) screening and background checks for criminal and juvenile conduct including psychological assessments, health and medical examinations, school records and attendance, which shall be provided by au pairs and nannies or solicited by the employment or placement agencies through school records, references from counselors, teachers, or other school personnel, police authorities, driving records, or through other means available and as approved by the Commissioner. No au pair or nanny as defined in section two of this chapter, who is eighteen or nineteen years of age, shall be placed in a private residence for the purposes of providing child care to more than two children who are each under the age of five years. The Commissioner shall provide notification to each employment and placement agency to be licensed, that they and all personnel involved with the au pair and nanny programs, are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, as stated in chapter one hundred and nineteen, section fifty-one A of the Massachusetts General Laws.”