NCMA urges Ofsted response
On behalf of all our members, NCMA has written
letters to Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw and
Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.
The letters are to request urgent meetings
following comments made by Sir Michael at the Education Select
Committee on 29 February about ‘childminders not using EYFS
properly’ and the future of inspection in the early years,
‘particularly registered childminders’.
NCMA’s joint chief executive, Liz Bayram,
said, "the vast majority of childminders are graded good or
outstanding by Ofsted and even the minority graded satisfactory are
deemed fit to deliver the current EYFS framework. So we were
surprised to hear Sir Michael say this and have asked to meet him
so that he can explain."
At the committee meeting, Sir Michael also
said that he is consulting with the Secretary of State for
Education, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, on childminder registration
which he described as ‘expensive’.
"Again," said Liz Bayram, "this was a surprise
to us, as the DfE has made clear, childminders are integral to
the delivery of the new EYFS framework and of the free entitlement
to disadvantaged 2-year-olds."
"NCMA members are well aware that the
childminding profession is a thriving part of the childcare sector,
which is in contrast to much nursery provision, currently
struggling to remain viable. Childminders have the skills and
experience that the DfE can build on, given that so many
2-year-olds are cared for by childminders.
"We emphasised to Sir Michael and Michael Gove
that our members appreciate the importance of parents having the
reassurance of knowing that childminders deliver EYFS and are
inspected in the same way as nurseries. This equality of status is
highly valued by childminders and parents.
"NCMA explained in strong terms the need for
very careful consideration to be given to any proposed changes to
inspection and regulation of childminding. The letters
explained that it is essential that children continue to benefit
from a safe, high quality experience of care and learning and
that there must continue to be a level playing field for
childminders and group settings.
"What we want to emphasise is that as the
professional association for registered childminders and nannies,
with more than 37,000 members, any developmental thinking by
government should be done in conjunction with the insight,
knowledge and experience that NCMA brings", concludes Liz.
uncorrected transcript can be seen here, and Sir Michael
Wilshaw's comments about childminders start at question 79.
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