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Quality checks for nanny agencies;In brief

QUALITY "kitemarks" are to be awarded to approved nanny agencies in an attempt to shield parents, under plans unveiled this week. Calls for a compulsory nanny register have been dismissed as "unworkable". Instead agencies which pass quality tests will be given an official seal of approval.

Councils and nanny agencies will be able to demand criminal record certificates, even those deemed to be spent. Local authorities will be issued with new guidelines to register childminders. The measures follow the death of five-month-old Joseph Makin, who was shaken to death by his minder, Helen Stacey.

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