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PACEY and childminder agencies

In a recent article, Nursery World has said that PACEY "will now start to advise the Government on the agency model". This is incorrect and a misrepresentation of PACEY.

PACEY’s position on childminder agencies is clear.

  • PACEY believes that agencies will have a negative impact on the perceived quality and professional standing of childminding to decision makers, childminders, parents etc.
  • PACEY believes that agencies pose a risk of increased costs (in agency fees) to parents and childminders.
  • PACEY believes that the available evidence shows agencies do not drive up quality of care for children.
  • PACEY is clear that childminders do not have to join an agency – it must never be compulsory.

Up until now, PACEY has not provided government or regulators with any advice on the development of childminder agencies nor the regulation that will set the minimum standards they will be required to meet by Ofsted.

Going forward, this will remain the case for the development of agencies e.g. PACEY will not advise government or organisations running pilots how to ensure a successful business model, one which is viable, attractive to childminders and parents alike, and navigates the myriad tax, insurance and other liability issues that come with agencies delivering services to families via self-employed individuals.

PACEY remains concerned about agencies and does not want to help them to succeed.

However, PACEY exists to ensure high standards of care and learning to all children in childcare, and has recognised that there will be increasing numbers of children cared for by agency childminders as they become law in September 2014. So we have decided that we now need to start to advise government and regulators on how to develop a robust registration and inspection framework that ensures minimum standards for childminder agencies; keep children safe and still enable childminders to deliver quality childcare to children and families.

Nursery World has removed the incorrect statement from their online edition and will print a retraction in the next print issue.

More information about PACEY’s stance on childcare agencies is available at