History of PACEY
History of the Professional Association for Childcare and
Since 1977 we have provided high quality support to our members
and have worked with government, local authorities and others to
raise standards.The organisation was formed in 1977 as the National
Childminding Association, and we changed our name to PACEY in the
spring of 2013.
The association was founded by a small group of registered
childminders, local authority staff and parents. Since then, the
charity has evolved to become the professional association it is
Why was the organisation needed?
In 1974, responsibility for registering childminders was moved
from local authority health departments and health visitors to the
new social services departments. At about the same time, Brian
Jackson, a well known educationalist, began a research study into
the incidence of illegal childminding in two northern cities.
Publicity surrounding this study pointed out a large number of
children being cared for in very poor circumstances; childminders
receiving very little pay; low educational levels and poor support
from local authorities.
A fierce debate was generated by the study. Jackson himself
supported childminders on the grounds that they were a
community-run service and most provided high standards of care
against all the odds. He recommended a "Childminders' Charter"
together with much better pay and conditions and a wider
recognition of their important role in society.
Jackson went on to create an educational trust and initiated three
National Childminding Conferences, held in Bradford, at which
childminders and local authority workers from all over the country
met for the first time.
By 1977 a number of registered childminders had formed
themselves into groups to counter the poor image of childminding
and campaign for a better deal. But they couldn't make progress
because there was no "national voice" for childminders.
Coincidentally, the BBC was producing a programme called Other
People's Children which invited childminders to say what they would
like from a national association. By November that year, the first
copy of the National Childminding Association membership magazine,
Who Minds? was published and the inaugural meeting arranged.
Originally the association covered the UK, but the legal
differences in Scotland and Northern Ireland led to other
organisations - SCMA and NICMA – being established.
In 2003, the association recognised that many nannies were
experiencing the same challenges as childminders had in the 1970s
and that it could use its experience to provide membership support
to nannies and well as childminders. NCMA launched its first
dedicated nanny membership package in 2004.
With the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Phase in
England in 2008 , a single registration and inspection
framework was established for all registered childcare settings.
Over time the association began to see the training and support it
delivered to childminders becoming relevant to individuals in group
settings too. In 2010, the association’s Board started to explore
whether the association could better grow recognition of the
professionalism of its members and respond to the changing
environment they worked in, by establishing itself as a standard
setting professional association. It also identified a support and
knowledge gap for individuals working in nurseries and pre-school,
especially in the early stages of their childcare career. Research
with this community of childcare professionals identified they
shared common challenges and concerns with childminders and
nannies. Following extensive consultation and research, the Board
decided NCMA was well placed to support nursery workers and to
develop a membership package for them.
In doing so, the Association would be able to work towards
becoming a standard setting professional association for everyone
in childcare and early years, ensuring it had a stronger voice for
all its members. As part of this change, NCMA decided to change its
name, to better recognise its membership included childminders,
nannies and nursery workers and to grow recognition of the
professionalism of all its members. After further consultation,
NCMA company members agreed to change its name to the Professional
Association for Childcare and Early Years, in October 2012. A name
that reflects member feedback that they wanted professionalism
reflected in the name as well as early years and childcare.
PACEY was officially launched in Spring 2013 and, at the same
time, welcomed nursery workers for the first time. Together we are
growing to become the professional association for everyone in
childcare and early years.