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Childminder agency pilots news

An investigation by Nursery World magazine has revealed that the majority of organisations involved with the childminder agency (CMA) pilots will not be adopting a CMA model from September this year, once the laws underpinning CMAs come into force.

Commenting on this news, PACEY's Chief Executive Liz Bayram said:

"PACEY was aware a number of pilot CMAs either never started developments or have, following investigation, decided not to go ahead. But we are shocked it is so many, given the Department for Education was clear the pilot's selection process was robust. Our concerns around DfE’s plans to set up CMAs are well documented. We do not think this is a good idea. There is little evidence CMAs will help to grow the number of childminders or reduce costs for parents, the reasons DfE gave for progressing CMAs despite sector wide concerns.

"Our response to the draft CMA regulations DfE consulted on recently, made clear a number of significant changes would be needed to ensure families were assured of safe, quality childcare for their children and that any childminders joining an agency received the appropriate training and development to help them continuously improve. We are still awaiting those final regulations and are still none the wiser about how much a CMA will charge childminders or parents for their services. The pilots have moved us no further forward and just serve to reinforce our message. We are unconvinced agencies will deliver on the promises made by the DfE.

“PACEY would want to remind childminders that they are not required or compelled to join a CMA in September, even IF one opens in their local area. Childminders still have a choice. They can get the training and support they need to sustain their business and prepare for their Ofsted inspection in other ways, including PACEY membership. Choosing to remain independent (not join a CMA) comes with the added bonus of remaining directly registered with Ofsted, with all the assurance that carries for parents. There is no need to change and, on the basis of this pilot evidence, why would anyone?"