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PACEY's letter to Sir Michael Wilshaw

Last week Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw made a comment about childminders in an interview with the Evening Standard.

Sir Michael said that: “the Government should try to ensure [children] go to a school-based nursery, not the local childminder.”

letter to wilshawDuring a Mumsnet webchat yesterday he acknowledged that “many childminders do a good or outstanding job” but continued to push his view that school-based nurseries were “the answer” to helping poorer children prepare for school.

Today we sent a letter to Sir Michael in response to his comments.

PACEY chief executive, Liz Bayram highlighted in the letter the fantastic contribution childminders make to the learning outcomes of young children and the thousands of families that rely on their invaluable support.

The letter clearly demonstrates how undervalued and undermined childminders felt by his comments.

Flagging the need for support and encouragement in all settings, especially for registered childminders who often work in isolation, we have offered to arrange for Sir Michael to meet with some of our members, to understand their perspective as well as see the unique contribution they can make.

We have also offered to arrange for him to visit an outstanding childminding setting, to meet our members for a roundtable discussion and to write an opinion piece for The Childcare Professional.

We will keep you up to date on our correspondence with Sir Michael and appreciate your comments on this issue.  

UPDATE: Following a positive meeting with Ofsted and having read our letter, Sir Michael Wilshaw has agreed to meet our childminder members. We are pleased that our views have been heard and we will keep you informed on the development of the meeting.